Cape Town to close streets, open restaurants and offer live music as part of lockdown boost

The City of Cape Town is introducing new measures aimed at helping residents feel safer and to help local restaurants through the summer lockdown period.

Starting on Saturday (18 December), Cape Town will close certain streets to vehicles and open them for pedestrians and diners only, so allowing restaurants to use the street space for more safe, outdoor seating.

“Whilst we cannot help every restaurant, we hope this innovation will make a positive difference in the lives of many hospitality workers,” said the mayor’s office. “On the 18th, street closures will be in effect in Bree Street between Hout and Wale from 14h00 to 23h00.”

The city said that initially twenty eateries will take part in the initiative, with live music entertainment also scheduled. In the weeks thereafter, this safer dining innovation will expand to other streets too including Harrington and Long. 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 that Covid 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.”

Fourth wave

The new initiative comes after the Western Cape announced that it had officially entered into a fourth Covid-19 wave this weekend.

The current seven-day moving average of new daily cases increased to approximately 1,600 cases per day and is expected to increase, said premier Alan Winde on Monday.

“While it is always scary to hear we are facing another wave of Covid-19 cases, we must remain calm and turn our anxiety into action. We can do this by following four steps: vaccinate as soon as possible, because vaccinations prevent severe illness.

“Ensure you wear your mask, because the virus spreads in the air. Also, 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.”

Read: Industry warns that December lockdowns in South Africa could cause collapse

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Cape Town to close streets, open restaurants and offer live music as part of lockdown boost