Here’s how Cape Town plans to make it safer to eat out this festive season
Certain streets in Cape Town’s CBD are set to be closed for vehicles throughout the festive season in an effort to help residents feel safer and help local restaurants through the lockdown.
The City of Cape Town said starting on Saturday, certain streets will be open to pedestrians and diners only, allowing restaurants to use the street space for more safe, outdoor seating.
Street closures will be in effect in Bree Street between Hout and Wale from 2pm to 11pm.
The city said initially 20 eateries will take part in the initiative, with live music entertainment scheduled.
“While we cannot help every restaurant, we hope this innovation will make a positive difference in the lives of many hospitality workers,” said the city.
It said the safer dining innovation will expand to other streets including Harrington and Long streets. Details of all road closures and participating streets will be announced.
“Our events team has worked quickly to arrange it, and they’ve delivered a great line-up of safe, socially-distanced evenings of open-air dining in Cape Town’s streets.
“We know the impact Covid-19 has had on Cape Town businesses and the thousands of Capetonians they employ. Innovative thinking is needed to help get our economy through this wave, and we are committed to doing what we can.
“The city centre has always been a hub for entertainment, food and culture and we hope to rejuvenate this. We encourage residents to support the local restaurant trade while staying safe this summer.”
Thank you to many activists and Capetonians who have worked on this and suggested it for the longest time, some for many years. I think here of @OpenStreetsCT and @young_urbanists and others. This is a small but important step in the right direction. Thanks to them! https://t.co/Xxsr2mRAvS— Geordin Hill-Lewis (@geordinhl) December 13, 2021
Fourth wave in Western Cape
The safer dining innovation comes after Western Cape premier Alan Winde said the province had entered its fourth wave of Covid-19 infections.
Winde said the difference between the fourth wave and previous waves was there is a “vaccine as a weapon in the fight”.
“While it is always scary to hear we are facing another wave, we must remain calm and turn our anxiety into action. We can do this by following four steps,” he said
“Vaccinate as soon as possible because vaccinations prevent severe illness. Ensure you wear your mask because the virus spreads in the air. Ensure good ventilation with lots of fresh air, and if you are meeting others, do it outside.
“This is much easier in our summer months. Together with the golden rules of good hygiene, including staying home when you feel sick, we can slow the spread and save lives and jobs in the Western Cape.”
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