While most attractions across the globe were forced to close for a time due to the rampant spread of COVID-19, many lockdowns are now beginning to ease and their restrictions are due to be lifted. Even though this is good news, it is now more vital than ever to travel for companies and individuals to implement new strategies and stringent safety precautions to keep both visitors and staff safe.
The ‘New Normal’
Some countries have already seen several previously reopened attractions forced to close again due to a second wave of infections, meaning that attractions must put the right safety precautions in place as they prepare to reopen.
We can expect stringent health regulations, limited capacities and staggered work schedules. These precautions will further depend on the location, size and type of attraction, meaning that attractions like the Castle of Good Hope (Stop 18), Kirstenbosch Garden (Stop 20) or Green Point Stadium (Stop 12) which have more open air space, might reopen more easily than a museum or cinema.
Businesses nationwide are already implementing drastic changes, so, to avoid confusion and to find the best new options for you, take the time to ask and research what these new options are.
It’s always good to ask questions, and perhaps now more than ever. When booking a hotel or restaurant, go online and check their website to learn about safety precautions being taken, as well as if certain amenities will be available. It’s also wise to confirm a businesses current cancellation policy before you make that booking.
Due to the currently fluctuating of outbreaks and reported infections, it is important to keep tabs on the restrictions of your area. Check out your health department's website for additional guidance, and follow up with local authorities to see if parks, recreational facilities, beaches and swim areas are currently open.
Enjoy one of the many beautiful hikes Cape Town has to offer
To keep atop of these changes, you can always sign up to various newsletters of governing bodies, as well as your favourite local establishments to make sure you don’t skip a beat.
Head away from the crowds
City-wide restrictions on capacities of public areas may find you waiting in an unnecessarily long queue or denied entry altogether. A good way to get around this is to visit some of Cape Town’s quieter attractions, like the city’s lesser-known museums where people are less likely to flock first. If you’re not up to taking the risk of rejection, it’s helpful to look for places who are now offering advance booking systems, allocated time-slots or VIP ticketed experiences that promise low crowds.
Avoid crowds and use public spaces wisely. While at the park, look for open areas, trails and paths that allow you to keep a safe distance from others.
It is up to you to keep not only yourself safe, but others as well. Be considerate in public spaces by using hand sanitiser or disinfectant wipes, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and most importantly - staying home if you feel unwell.
If we do see attractions introduce entry slots or pre-booked ride times, or even more virtual queues, an effective app will be invaluable to reduce points of friction for visitors.
As visitor habits change significantly as a result of the Coronavirus, changes in how attractions run and use technology become more permanent. E-tickets are likely to become more popular, and we are already seeing an increase in hands-off and cashless solutions.
More creative technologies are already being developed but will take longer to implement, but these will hopefully encourage attractions to create more impressive experiences for visitors than ever before.
With social distancing being extremely important for any attraction when it first reopens, it is likely that apps will also become more important than ever. Book your tickets, order your food, or join a virtual queue from your phone rather than a touch screen. We could even end up having to buy purchase merchandise via an app rather than inside a crowded shop to limit contact.
The tourism and entertainment industry as we know it is changing rapidly. Stores are switching from brick and mortar to online offerings, business hours are changing and amenities are adapting, so, remember to be patient with others as we all adjust to this ‘new norm’.