Hiking trails closed again

South Africa - Cape Town - 25 May 2019 - Sunrise on Africa Day from Lions Head mountain. Africa gives its residence a natural beauty that's second to no other. As the custodians of this tresure, we have to protect all that She gives us for the generations after us. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA) ANAPics

South African National Parks
(SANParks) closed trails on
the Lion’s Head section of
Table Mountain again after some
hikers on the narrow pathways
failed to wear marks and practise
physical distancing to prevent the
spread Covid-19 . 

The national government
announced that on lockdown level
3, which started on Monday June 1,
people were permitted to exercise
between 6am and 6pm as long as it
was not in groups.
Table Mountain management
had requested that visitors adhere
to this and other lockdown regulations. 
“Please ensure that you wear
your face masks and maintain a
social distance of at least 1.5m
when undertaking recreational
activities. As per alert level 3 lockdown regulations, you are permitted to exercise between 6am and
6pm and Table Mountain management humbly requests adhere to
this very important lockdown regulation. No overnight hiking will be permitted in the park.”  
However, on Saturday June 6,
SANParks said the Lion’s Head
trails would be closed until further
“Due to the nature of the trail,
recreational activities are no longer
permitted in these areas due to
non-compliance by users in accordance with level 3 regulations of the
nationwide lockdown.” 
Independent mountain guide,
Frank Dwyer said the Lion’s Head
hiking trail should not have been
opened in the first place. 
“It should’ve remained closed
because the trail is too narrow and
it’s almost impossible to practise
social distancing,” he said. 
He said the route had chains
which would be hard to sanitise
after each person used them. The
hiking trail is the most popular
route, said Mr Dwyer, and people
don’t follow rules. 
“Some people may disagree
but it’s impossible to make
people obey rules when they
can’t even follow simple ones
such as wearing masks,” he said. 
People weighed in on the
decision on social media. 
Debbie Wallsmith said: “More
of the mountain needs to be
opened up to relieve congestion, people can’t play sports,
can’t go to the beach, if more of
the mountain is open it will be
less congested. I was at Devil’s
Peak and people were observing
physical distance wearing masks,
it was wonderful to be on the
mountain again.” 
Some suggested strict control
of the number of people on
Lion’s Head at all times. 
“I have
never understood everyone’s
obsession with it when there is
so much more of the mountain
to explore. Hopefully with it
closed they will find other places
to explore,” said Colleen Cross. 
Nikki Parker-Britz said: “It
makes complete sense. Narrow
pathways. Everyone touching the
same ladders, chains and staples.
Getting upset about one trail
is silly when there are so many
other routes available.”