However, as South Africa's thousands of hotels, AirBnBs and guesthouses remain empty, a group of local hospitality owners have taken the initiative to make use of their empty beds to help South Africa's health workers on the frontline of this crisis.
Ubuntu Beds "is an initiative that aims to unite hospitality businesses that now stand empty, with our healthcare workers who are fighting the virus on the front lines. In the spirit of Ubuntu, hostels, hotels, BnBs and guest-houses which have been hit by travel bans and lockdown will be able to offer safe harbour to our doctors and nurses. By ensuring that tired healthcare workers don’t need to travel long journeys home to their families, we can ensure the safety of more South Africans".
As has been seen elsewhere in the world healthcare workers are at a greater risk from the Coronavirus and other illnesses as they are required to work ever longer hours under immense physical and emotional pressure.
The Ubuntu Beds initiative is currently looking for rooms to offer to nurses, doctors and healthcare workers. Hospitality staff will have to stay on site and undergo rigorous COVID-19 specific training and be issued protective gear for their safety. As has been publicized by SATSA (the Southern African Tourism Services Association) Ubuntu Beds are currently asking those willing to offer rooms to do so for free while support from funds, investment groups and other sources is gathered.
While the team from Ubuntu Beds get the initiative off the ground health workers and hotel owners are being asked to register their interest at www.ubuntubeds.org. For more on how you can support Ubuntu Beds email firstname.lastname@example.org.