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City asks for Covid capacity restrictions at public venues to be scrapped<p>​I have written to President Cyril Ramaphosa with two specific requests: One, that the “50% capacity rule” for outdoor public facilities, like public swimming pools, be lifted entirely. Two, that spectators be allowed to return to watch major sporting events (such as the India-South Africa cricket tour). </p><p>As the summer peak season gets into full gear, and the latest Omicron variant of Covid-19 proves to have less of a negative impact than the previous Delta variant, the resumption of public, entertainment and sporting events should be a priority for aiding economic recovery.</p><p>The City of Cape Town has high-quality public swimming pools around the City, from the famous Sea Point Pavilion, to pools in Philippi, Bellville, Hanover Park, Mnandi, Khayelitsha, Newlands and Goodwood. In the summer, these pools are extremely popular venues for family outings, and thousands flock here every day. At the moment, people are queuing from as early as 04:00 to get in, but we are forced to stagger the entry times to adhere to the 50% capacity rule. This often results in many people going home instead. </p><p>The City of Cape Town has shown that we can safely manage large events with clear adherence to health safety protocols to protect residents and spectators. Since October last year, we have hosted the Cycle Tour, the ABSA Cape Epic, Miss SA, the Cape Town Marathon and the FNB One Run among others. All of these are high-profile and large events hosted successfully during a pandemic. In all of these cases, we can provide data to show that the number of infections from the respective event have been very low. </p><p>This experience shows that we can now remove capacity restrictions at sporting events too. With a large number of Cape Town residents vaccinated, adhering to mask-wearing where required, it is possible to safely return to having spectators at sport events, as can be seen at stadiums and events all over the world. </p><p>The SA v India cricket matches currently taking place in Cape Town as well as rugby and football matches scheduled to take place at the Newlands and DHL stadiums will benefit from crowds in the stands cheering on their teams. These crowds also support the livelihoods of dozens of small businesses and vendors in and around those events. Lessons learnt from these matches will help us prepare to host the Rugby World Cup Sevens South Africa 2022 in September.</p><p>Mr President, we are ready to reopen our public outdoor facilities to full capacity, and we are ready to allow spectators back to our outdoor sports games. We ask that these restrictions be lifted without delay, and we look forward to your support.</p><p><strong>End</strong></p>2022-01-18T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d;GP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|Statements10

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