New Lockdown Regulations And What They Mean

On Thursday, 23 April 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced plans to gradually return the country to economic activity through a series of lockdown levels. Not sure what each of these levels entails and what you can or cannot get up to in the coming weeks? Read on to find out.

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Level 5 

Under level 5 of lockdown, only essential services are allowed to operate and no inter-provincial travel is permitted, except under exceptional circumstances such as funerals. There is also a ban on the sale of alcohol, cigarettes and other non-essential items such as appliances and clothing. The government has warned that certain COVID-19 ‘hot spots’ will have to remain under level 5 lockdown even after 01 May 2020, as these areas are at higher risk for widespread infections. Similarly, if we do not stick to the regulations of each lockdown level, the whole country may be returned to level 5 to prevent a massive loss of life.

Level 4 

This level of lockdown will be implemented when there is moderate to high risk of the virus spread and moderate readiness across the health sector. It entails a gradual return to economic activity for a few sectors, with strict physical distancing rules still in place. The sectors allowed to return to economic activity include:

  • All essential services
  • Food retail stores already permitted to be open may sell full line of products within existing stock
  • All agriculture (horticulture, export agriculture including wool and wine, floriculture and horticulture, and related processing)
  • Forestry, pulp and paper, mining (open cast mines at 100% capacity, all other mines at 50%)
  • All financial and professional services
  • Global business services for export markets
  • Postal and telecommunications services
  • Fibre optic and IT services
  • Formal waste recycling (glass, plastic, paper and metal)

In addition, there will still be restrictions on transport and inter-provincial movement, including:

  • Bus services, taxi services, e-hailing and private motor vehicles may operate at all times of the day, with limitations on vehicle capacity and stringent hygiene requirements
  • No inter-provincial movement of people, except for transportation of goods and exceptional circumstances (e.g. funerals)

What You Can And Cannot Do Under Level 4 Lockdown?

  • The president has emphasised that those who can work from home, should during this period and that the elderly and immune-compromised must remain in isolation. Moreover, large social gatherings remain prohibited.
  • People may be able to exercise outside under strict regulations. No organised exercise such as running clubs or informal sports games will be allowed. Gyms will remain closed.
  • The sale of tobacco products will resume under level 4 of lockdown.
  • Restaurants will be allowed to operate, but only through delivery services. No alcohol may be sold.
  • Our borders will remain closed to international travellers, aside from South Africans being repatriated from abroad.
  • It is yet to be announced whether schools will be re-opened under level 4 of lockdown.

lockdown levels

 

Level 3

If we manage to continue to keep infection rates relatively low, the country may move into Level 3 of lockdown. This entails a moderate spread of the virus and moderate readiness of the health system. A further few sectors will be allowed to return to economic activity, including:

  • Licensing and permitting services, deeds offices and other government services designated by the Minister of Public Service and Administration
  • Take-away restaurants and online food delivery
  • Liquor retail within restricted hours
  • Clothing retail
  • Hardware stores
  • Stationery, personal electronics and office equipment production and retail
  • Books and educational products
  • E-commerce and delivery services
  • Clothing and textiles manufacturing (at 50% capacity)
  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Chemicals
  • Bottling
  • Cement and steel
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Global Business Services
  • SANRAL construction and maintenance
  • Transnet (at 100% capacity)

Restrictions on transportation and movement will be loosened somewhat, allowing for:

  • Bus services, taxi services, e-hailing and private motor vehicles may operate at all times of the day, with limitations on vehicle capacity and stringent hygiene requirements
  • No inter-provincial movement of people, except for transportation of goods and exceptional circumstances (e.g. funerals)
  • Limited domestic air travel, with a restriction on the number of flights per day and authorisation based on the reason for travel

Level 2

This level of lockdown will be implemented providing there is moderate spread of the virus and high readiness by the health care system. It allows for these sectors to return to full capacity:

  • Construction
  • All other retail
  • All other manufacturing
  • Mining (all mines at 100%
    capacity)
  • All government services
  • Installation, repairs and maintenance
  • Domestic work and cleaning services
  • Informal waste-pickers

Furthermore, domestic air travel will be restored, as well as car rental services. Movement between provinces will be allowed at level 1 and 2 restrictions.

Level 1 

To reach level 1 of lockdown, the country must be at a stage of low infection rate with high health care system readiness. This level allows for all sectors to return to full capacity. Similarly, all modes of transportation will be permitted to operate, providing that they do so under strict hygiene conditions. Inter-provincial movement will be allowed, however there will be restrictions on international travel.

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For More Information

Visit www.gov.za for the latest news and updates on the Government’s response to the coronavirus. You can also follow them on social media for more information:

Twitter

Instagram

To watch President Ramaphosa’s full address to the nation, click here.

Stay home, stay safe and keep well!