What You Need To Know: 21 Day Lockdown

Cyril Ramaphosa has imposed a 21-day total lockdown on the 56 million inhabitants of South Africa, telling them in an address that the unprecedented and sweeping measures were necessary to avoid a “catastrophe of huge proportions”.

Taking necessary precautions and giving South Africans enough time to prepare, the lockdown will come into effect on Thursday night and be enforced by the police and military.

A short list of key workers will be exempt from the lockdown, which was widely anticipated after military vehicles appeared in major cities during the afternoon. To alleviate congestion at social-grant paypoints, the president has instructed that people who receive old-age grants would be able to collect them on March 30 and 31; all other social grants will be paid from April 1.

President Ramaphosa also announced an increase in screening and testing for the disease, and the establishment of a solidarity fund. A package of economic measures to protect credit, banking, businesses and jobs, as well as support those without formal incomes, was announced. Essential and critical business continuity services will need to remain open to support the health sector and to keep our people healthy, safe, and secure under these extraordinary conditions. We provide the following guidelines as to what businesses need to remain open. We ask all businesses and people to take this seriously and to help us respond as effectively as possible to contain and minimise the impact of Covid19.

Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999 from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

Help protect your loved ones by sharing this official South African government COVID-19 service with your family, friends and community.

Send HI to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp.

The NICD has another Clinician Hotline to improve #COVID19 communication and support for healthcare providers. The Clinician Hotline is 0800 11 1131, operating 24 hrs. The Public Hotline is 0800 029 999 also operating 24hrs.