President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that South Africa will be moving to alert level 3 from 1 June – with more sectors of the economy opening and the removal of a number of restrictions on the movement of people.
Here is a quick round-up of the changes that come with level 3.
Movement of People
Those who exercise will be able to exercise at any time during the day, this may not be done in groups. The curfew on the movement of people will also be lifted.
Sale of Alcohol
President Ramaphosa says, “Alcohol may be sold for home consumption only under strict conditions, on specified days and for limited hours. Announcements in this regard will be made once we have concluded discussions with the sector on the various conditions,”
Sale of Cigarettes
Due to the health risks associated with smoking, the sale of tobacco products will remain prohibited in alert level 3.
“All gatherings will remain prohibited, except for funerals with no more than 50 people or meetings in the workplace for work purposes,” he said.
Ramaphosa mentioned that for now, churches, mosques and other religious institutions will remain closed. But proposals for the partial opening of “spiritual worship” – subject to certain norms and standards – are being considered.
A hotspot is defined as an area that has more than five infected people per every 100 000 people or where new infections are increasing at a very fast pace. The list of hotspot areas will be reviewed every two weeks depending on the progression of the virus.
These are the areas that have been declared as Coronavirus hotspots. They include the following metros: Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City and Cape Town.
Other areas that have been identified as hotspots are West Coast, Overberg and Cape Winelands district municipalities in the Western Cape, Chris Hani district in the Eastern Cape, and iLembe district in KwaZulu-Natal.
President Ramaphosa said, “Wholesale and retail trade will be fully opened, including stores, spaza shops and informal traders. E-commerce will continue to remain open. Other sectors that opened previously, such as agriculture and forestry, utilities, medical services, food production and manufacture of hygiene products, will remain fully opened,”
- Companies will need to put in place sanitary and social distancing measures and facilities
- They will need to screen workers on arrival each day, quarantine those who may be infected and make arrangements for them to be tested.
- Companies need to assist with contact tracing if employees test positive.
- All staff who are older than 60 years of age and those who suffer from underlying conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer should ideally stay at home,” the President said.
- Employees who can work from home should be allowed to do so.
Subject to these measures, all manufacturing, mining, construction, financial services, professional and business services, information technology, communications, government services, and media services, will commence full reopening from 1 June.
High-risk economic activities prohibited
High-risk economic activities will remain prohibited. These include:
- Restaurants, bars, and taverns, except for delivery or collection of food.
- Accommodation and domestic air travel, except for business travel, which will be phased in on dates to be announced.
- Conferences, events, entertainment, and sporting activities.
- Personal care services, including hairdressing and beauty services.
President Ramaphosa cautioned, saying, “The easing of some restrictions does not mean that the threat posed by the Coronavirus has passed or that our fight against the disease is over. In fact the risk of a massive increase in infections is now greater than it has been since the start of the outbreak in our country.”