Expect to be tested for COVID-19 when travelling during lockdown level 3

Expect to be tested for COVID-19 when travelling during lockdown level 3

South Africans who want to travel between provinces during the course of lockdown alert level 3 must be able to produce a valid permit and could be subjected to COVID-19 testing.

This was revealed during two briefings on 28 May from various ministers who form part of the National Coronavirus Command Council.

During a briefing from the social cluster, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma explained under which circumstances persons may cross provincial borders.

“The limitation on movements across provinces and now between metropolitans and districts and hotspots may be prohibited, except for persons travelling for the purpose of starting work, moving to a new residence or caring for an immediate family member,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

In addition, Dlamini-Zuma said attending a funeral or travelling for work or business will continue to be allowed, as was permitted under level 4.

She also indicated travelling will be allowed between districts and provinces for pupils, students, and teachers who have to travel to places of learning such as schools and universities, which are set to start reopening on 1 June.

She explained the government had previously observed that COVID-19 transmission occurred after people moved between districts, which was why the measures were still necessary.

Those who will be travelling for the purposes stated above must possess the necessary permit as prescribed by regulations published by COGTA in the Government Gazette.

Therefore, the following persons are eligible to travel between provinces, but only with the required permit:

  • Funeral attendants and persons transporting mortal remains.
  • Students or pupils travelling to attend school or other educational institutions.
  • Drivers who are transporting students or pupils to attend school or other educational institutions.
  • People travelling for work or to return to work.
  • People travelling for medical treatment.
  • People travelling to care for an immediate family member.

Click here for the various permits required to travel between provinces and districts for purposes allowed under level 3 lockdown.

Roadblocks to include screening

A subsequent briefing from the Justice and Security Cluster was headed by Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

She explained how SANDF soldiers would be employed alongside police in order to enforce the movement limitations.

“The South African Police Service and other law enforcement agencies will continue to monitor local and inter-provincial movements by holding roadblocks on national highways and rotating in suburbs, cities and towns,” Mapisa-Nqakula stated.

She indicated that certain SANDF members from the 73,000-strong force will be deployed to assist the National Department of Health with medical duties.

According to Mapisa-Nqakula, South Africans can expect to be subjected to COVID-19 screening at roadblocks.

“Scanning teams have been deployed with the SANDF units in all provinces. These military healthcare practitioners are performing thermal scans on the population during patrols at vehicle control points and roadblocks,” she stated.

These will assist in early detection of people who might be infected with the COVID-19 virus and in doing so, mitigate the spread of the virus, Mapisa-Nqakula stated.

Mapisa-Nqakula also noted that all persons travelling between districts and provinces will be required to produce an appropriate permit at the roadblocks.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said roadblocks will be increased in COVID-19 hotspot areas such as Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Ethekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City, and Cape Town.

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