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What to expect on level 3

COGTA minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

In preparation for the shift down to level 3 of the nationwide lockdown from 1 June, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has outlined the regulations that will be implemented as government further opens up various sectors of the economy.

Addressing media during a National Coronavirus Command Council briefing on Thursday in Tshwane, Dlamini Zuma said under the Risk Adjusted Strategy, each province and district/metro will be subjected to its own level of the Risk Alert System.

“This will assist us in mounting coordinated and targeted interventions, especially in the deployment of our limited resources,” Dlamini Zuma said.

Stringent measures will be implemented in the metropolitans, district municipalities and other areas identified as Coronavirus hotspots.

These include Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City, and Cape Town; the 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.

“In the event that our collective efforts bear little or no fruits, such [hotspot] areas will require additional efforts, including being subjected to higher level restrictions, including limiting of movements within and to and from the [said] hotspot.

“In the areas that are not hotspots, we will allow movements within the district and localities. We will permit movement only to and from work, as well as to buy or obtain available goods, services and medical attention,” Dlamini Zuma said.

Under level 3, limitations on movement across provinces, and now between metropolitan areas and districts and hotspots, is prohibited, except for persons travelling for purposes of starting work; moving to a new residence, or caring for an immediate family member, provided such persons have the relevant permits.

With the schools opening to learners in a phased approach from 1 June 2020, travelling between provinces and districts will be allowed for pupils, students and teaching staff.

Curfew lifted

As announced by President Ramaphosa on 24 May, the curfew on the movement of people will be lifted, and more time for exercising, walking and cycling will be allowed.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said outdoor exercise will now be allowed from 6am to 6pm.

However, Dlamini Zuma emphasised that outdoor exercise is permitted, provided it is not done in organised groupings and health protocols, especially social distancing, must be strictly observed.

Public training, fitness and recreation facilities will remain closed, except those conducting non-contact sports matches, without spectators.

Arts, Culture and Sports Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, is expected to elaborate on this regulation.

Return of employees to workplaces

As from 1 June, most employees, including public servants, will be returning to work, except employees who are over 60 years and those with comorbidities.

Dlamini Zuma said workers with pre-existing conditions should be encouraged to work from home.

She said all employers must have a COVID-19 plan and COVID-19 compliance officer.

“Workplace gatherings for work purposes will be permitted under strict conditions and the observance of health, hygiene and social distancing protocols. Employers must ensure that the 1.5 metre distance is maintained amongst employees.

“We will have to limit the number of people in the workplace, so that we minimise the chance of infection,” Dlamini Zuma said.

In minimising the chances of infection, on-site consumption places for food, entertainment and recreation will remain closed. These include places such as restaurants, shebeens, taverns, night clubs, bars, cinemas, theatres, fêtes, bazaars, casinos and similar places.

Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities and resorts and guest houses, remain closed, except those that are accommodating remaining and confined tourists, persons lodging as a result of work purposes; and persons in quarantine or isolation.

Limited interprovincial travel for the purposes of attending funerals will still continue under level 3. The number of funeral attendees will continue to be limited to 50.

Religious gatherings permitted

Under level 3, religious gatherings such as church services will be permitted, for a maximum of 50 people, as long as health, hygiene and social distancing is observed.

“Places of worship must be sanitised, and the screening of participants is mandatory,” the Minister said.

Travelling between provinces remains prohibited, with the exception of those in possession of permits to attend funerals or conduct essential services and level 3 functions in between provinces and districts.

Domestic workers, weddings 

Under level 3, domestic workers may return to work, provided strict health and hygiene protocols are adhered to.

Those wishing to marry may do so under level 3. However, no celebrations where people will gather are permitted. A marriage certificate will be issued to the couple.