Workers in industries that will reopen from 1 May and who had travelled to other provinces before the coronavirus national lockdown began will be able to return to their provinces of work when Level-4 lockdown rules kick in on Friday. However, inter-provincial travel remains prohibited, except for exceptional circumstances. These include traveling for funerals or essential work. A permit is needed for both instances.

This emerged during a media briefing in Pretoria on the stage four easing of lockdown regulations aimed at a phased reopening of economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cooperative Governance Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel were addressing journalists.

Patel says they estimate that about 1.5 million South Africans will be able to return to work under Level-4 restrictions. He says their approach to revive the economy is a measured one to ensure the continued curbing of the spread of COVID-19.

Patel says government is engaging with all sectors of business to ensure they create a safe environment for workers to return to.

“With the change in the lockdown from Level-5 to Level-4 as we move to that level, we estimate that it will enable more than 1.5 million South Africans to leave their homes and go back into the workplace; that’s roughly the additional number that we expect. The exact number will depend on many factors and how many firms reopen; on the final arrangements involving sectors like education and so and it will be based on a framework that we’re still developing for different sectors.”

In the video below, Ministers Dlamini-Zuma and Patel brief the media on the Risk-Adjusted Strategy:

Curfew from May 1

From Friday, a curfew will be implemented to restrict the movement of people. Citizens will have to stay a home between 8pm and 5am, except to seek medical care.

Essential workers are exempted from the curfew only if their work hours fall within the curfew period.

Dlamini-Zuma says the COVID-19 pandemic has provided government the opportunity to restructure the economy and re-purpose certain industries. She says the allowance of the sale of cigarettes regulation will be taken back to Cabinet.

“About the opening of cigarettes, we will take that back to Cabinet and hear what they say. COVID-19 though it is a serious challenge, we must also use it as an opportunity to restructure our economy to introduce new technologies to re-purpose some of the industries and I think it has also assisted us to some extent to move into areas that we are tentative into moving to. So, there will be a lot of silver linings that will come from this dark cloud.”

Alcohol and lotto tickets sales

The sale of lotto tickets and alcohol will remain prohibited. Exercise will only be allowed under strict conditions; with no organised group exercising allowed.

Restaurants will be allowed to open only for the delivery of meals during the curfew period.

Some industries that will be opened include the agriculture sector, mining and construction. Clothing stores will be open only for the sale of winter clothing and bedding.

All the regulations will be published on Thursday.

Compliance

Minister Dlamini-Zuma warned South Africans that if they do not comply the nationwide lockdown regulations, the country could revert back to Level -5 restrictions. She says the rate of coronavirus infection will determine which level the country will move to.

“If we move down to Level-4 which we will do by Friday and we do not stick to the conditions to the restrictions to the public health conditions and the virus starts speeding up in terms of more people getting infected faster, then government will have no option but to move very swiftly back to Level-5. If we stick to all the things that need to be done all of us collectively, then we may be able to hold on to Level-4 and eventually get to Level-3.”

In the video below, Dlamini-Zuma urges South Africans to adhere to regulations:

Dlamini-Zuma says it will be mandatory for all South Africans to use cloth masks when they leave their homes from the first of May.

She’s warned that there will be no acceptable excuse for not wearing a mask.

In the video below, Dlamini-Zuma elaborates on this: