Photo: Adobe Stock
Photo: Adobe Stock
COGTA Minister Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma delivered a series of updates in regards to updating our rules and regulations for Level 4 of lockdown. As well as elaborating on what South Africans can do for exercise – and which other items can now be sold in-store – our essential workers list was updated.
The briefing was initially meant to start at 18:00, but it was pushed back to 19:30 at the request of the National Command Council. When proceedings did get underway, the nuts and bolts of Level 4 were unpacked – but there are still some strict regulations to adhere to.
If not for food, medication, exercise, social grants, no South African should be on the street except for essential service workers. A register of essential services was created to operate during lockdown — services that the public could not do without during. The full list, which initially featured 36 areas of work, has now expanded. We’ve got a few industries returning…
Select retailers, manufacturing companies and hardware shops are set to reopen. They must follow strict social distancing and sanitisation guidelines. Anyone who doesn’t prepare properly before reopening – by putting these health measures in place – will be closed down. Workers must also arrive back in stages, and not all employees can come back at once. We will get more clarity from the trade minister before Friday.
Oil refineries can work at full capacity. More agricultural work will now be allowed too, such as hunting, fishing and beekeeping. People working with gas and electric supply can restart trading. There will be no scope to open hair salons and barbers, though. It’s too risky, according to Dlamini-Zuma. It’s also worth noting:
Key workers, predominantly in the health and food industries, now have a bit more company in their exclusive clubs. Restaurants and small vendors are some of the biggest beneficiaries of Level 4’s new conditions, as takeaways and non-essential shopping items are back on the menu.
On 1 May, South Africa will move from Level 5 of lockdown – the strictest one available – down to Level 4. It’s part of a tiered system introduced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last Thursday. There are five stages in total, and after five weeks under the toughest terms, there is light relief ahead for some of us.
Friday will mark the fifth week of our time in lockdown, but it’s likely social distancing measures will be with us right through this calendar year. The global health crisis is only expected to peak on our shores by September, meaning many of our civil liberties will be put on hold for the months ahead.
Here is the full, official clarification of who can return to work from Friday 1 May: