Open-air street dining initiative launches in Cape Town

As restaurants brave the impacts of the fourth wave, the City of Cape Town has launched an ‘open streets for safer dining’ initiative which aims to increase open dining spaces for selected restaurants in the Mother City.

In an official press statement, the Mayor of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, explains that the initiative will kick off next week: “Starting on 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.”

In the most recent address to the nation by the President, outdoor and open-air spaces are labelled as safer alternatives to enclosed spaces. With many locals and tourists being cautious during the fourth wave, the open-air dining initiative promotes safer experiences while helping to support the local restaurant industry.

The restaurant industry in South Africa has suffered tremendous financial blows due to the impacts of the pandemic and as a result, are strongly reliant on festive season trade.

From the 18th of December, the City of Cape Town will implement street closures in Bree Street between Hout and Wale from 2pm until 11pm every day.

Dining alfresco is wonderful at this time of year as Cape Town welcomes the summer sun and the December mood.

“Twenty eateries will take part in this safe, unique dining experience, and live music entertainment will be announced. I look forward to being there, and hope that you will “Bree there, or be square,” adds Geordin Hill-Lewis.

The initiative will expand to other streets including Harrington Street and Long Street in the Cape Town city centre.

“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,” concludes Geordin Hill-Lewis

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