All events have the potential to turn into Covid-19 superspreaders if those who attend fail to follow the rules. That’s the view of Gail Cornill, owner of Spotted Owl Events, which runs the annual KZN Bridal Show at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg.
She was responding to comments made by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala on Sunday that people should avoid attending weddings, traditional ceremonies and sporting events as they had “proven to increase the transmission of the virus”.
Cornhill said: “I think that certain events could well be superspreaders when procedures aren’t followed, however, specifically with regard to weddings, where your closest family and friends are invited and everyone obeys the set protocols, the risks are small.
“Invited guests, specifically your nearest and dearest, have an obligation to the couple to not attend if they are feeling ill in any way. If people are responsible there is no need to shut events and weddings down.
“As it is, the industry is in a state of near collapse and if faced with yet another lockdown it is unlikely to recover. We appeal to people to be responsible and to follow all of the protocols, and stay home if you are unwell.”
Zikalala agreed, saying that people had to encourage each other to wear masks, wash their hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitiser and to practise social distancing.
“We have suspended major events and we are clamping down on non-compliance with regulations,” the premier added.
“We also plan to shut down and effect arrests on those organising superspreader events. This is no time to fool ourselves. We are shedding enough tears already.