South Africa: Botanical Gardens Reopen Under Strict Health Protocols

Members of the public will once again be able to access the country's botanical gardens to exercise from 3 August 2020.

Permission for access for exercise purposes only was published in the Amended Directions for the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in Government Gazette 43564 (Notice No. 822) on 28 July 2020.

"The gardens have been closed to the public for four months. Reopening the gardens will allow those who frequent for exercise to enjoy the privilege. Any access and use is subject to strict COVID-19 health protocols," Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, said on Thursday.

The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) manages the country's 11 botanical gardens in eight provinces. Each garden represents a variety of South Africa's rich biodiversity.

No social gathering, picnics or public events will be allowed. Commercial facilities in the gardens, such as restaurants, have been allowed to open under alert level 3, subject to prescribed regulations for the respective areas of business.

"Business conferences and meetings limited to 50 people, excluding those who participate via electronic platforms, may be allowed under controlled conditions outlined in government regulations that promote health protocols for such gatherings," the Minister said.

Daily access to the botanical gardens will be monitored and limited once the safe carrying capacity for the area has been reached.

All visitors will be required to wear face masks, be temperature screened, and complete a tracing register. Gate opening and closing hours will be strictly adhered to.

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