The lockdown will continue, mostly in its current form, even when the country moves to Level 4 next Friday, with a strict curfew in place, no visiting or gatherings allowed, no interprovincial travel allowed, except in exceptional circumstances, and other movement restrictions.
The wearing of cloth masks will be mandatory for the general population and, even as some sectors of the economy reopens, strict social distancing and hygiene practices remain in place.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced this week that the country moves to a “Level 4” risk assessment on 1 May, with some lockdown regulations relaxed to allow limited economic activity.
The country is currently on Level 5 – the highest risk level.
On Saturday, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said the lockdown essentially remains in place from Friday and very limited economic activity will be allowed.
Gyms closed, no gatherings
Limited outdoor exercise will be allowed but under very strict circumstances, which will be clarified in the regulations when they are published. No form of organised exercise will be allowed and gyms and other recreational facilities will remain closed, the minister said.
No gatherings will be allowed, including weddings, religious gatherings, or social ones.
Funerals will be allowed but under the same strict regulations as they are at the moment.
Social distancing remains “critical”, she said. Even companies which open must adhere to the rules: Employees must be screened for temperature, for coughs, and other flu-like symptoms, and sanitisers and masks must be used.
Dlamini-Zuma said that while the general population must use cloth masks, surgical and N95 masks must be left for healthcare workers.
Interprovincial travel will be allowed in exceptional circumstances, such as workers who need to return to their places of work in different provinces.
Those who can work at home must do so, and those who are aged 60 and above must stay at home.”The younger you are, the less serious the Covid-19 disease will be,” she said.
Dlamini-Zuma said the metros were the epicentres of the disease, and this was why interprovincial travel was mostly banned.