level 4 lockdown restrictions

Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)

Level 4 lockdown restrictions ‘likely to be extended further’ – experts

It’s not the news most of us want to hear, but it looks like this is a case of ‘needs must’. Level 4 lockdown restrictions are set for an extension.

level 4 lockdown restrictions

Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)

The Bureau for Economic Research (BER) has released its weekly report, and the forecast for the month ahead isn’t exactly a bed of roses. The financial experts now believe that the current Level 4 lockdown restrictions will be extended beyond their provisional deadline of Sunday 11 July – due to the impact of the Delta variant.

SA ‘can expect Level 4 extension’ – BER

In a statement released earlier on Monday, BER noted the negative economic impact Level 4 restrictions have already been responsible for: Hotels such as the Sun International group have had to close down some of their operations, and Comair are grounding all of their flights for the next three weeks. However, the daunting data cannot be ignored.

“Besides the severe impact it is having on the health sector, the upcoming week’s COVID stats should influence whether the government decides on an extension of the 2-week adjusted Level 4 regulations. Given the progression of the third wave since the measures were announced, we think that most, if not all, of the current restrictions will be extended.”

“While it is too early to tell whether the restrictions helped in limiting the spread of COVID cases, the direct impact of the restrictions, the third wave and subsequent changes in consumer/firm behaviour on businesses is already apparent.”

Lockdown restrictions likely to remain

The group is now insisting on an extension of the UIF/TERS scheme. Many sectors of the economy, including hospitality and tourism, cannot function under current Level 4 laws – and a reintroduction of the support payments is expected to be announced at ‘some point this week’. BER has described the impending intervention as ‘essential’.

“Any extension of the Level 4 restrictions will make it even more essential that the UIF/Ters scheme of income support for workers in the sectors hardest hit by the restrictions is speedily reactivated. This has received support from business and labour. Such measures won’t impact the stretched public finances as the UIF has funds available.” | BER statement