Lockdown will be eased from 30 April – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa has stated the country’s COVID-19 lockdown will be eased from the end of the month.
Addressing the nation this evening, Ramaphosa said a nationwide lockdown cannot be sustained indefinitely – even though it does stop the spread of COVID-19.
He said the economy will be opened from 30 April, with a gradual easing of the current restrictions in place.
The country will open its economy based on the “level” of infection rate in the country – with levels ranging from 1 to 5.
Level 5 is the most serious infection rate, while level 1 is the lowest infection rate. The country is at level 5, said Ramaphosa.
These levels will be regularly reviewed based on the rates of infection across the country.
However, the national alert level will be lowered to level 4 from Friday, 1 May 2020.
“This means that some activity will be allowed to resume,” said Ramaphosa. Therefore, certain businesses will be allowed to resume operations under a set of guidelines.
Companies will have to prepare their workplaces for their employees when the lockdown eases, based on guidelines from the government. Businesses will also be required to allow employees to work from home where possible.
South Africa’s borders will remain closed to international travellers, however, under level 4. Travel between provinces will also be prohibited during level 4.
As is the case currently, the public is encouraged to stay at home. Exercise under strict guidelines will be allowed. More details will be released soon, said the president.
In terms of new goods which can be sold under level 4, cigarettes are included. More goods will be detailed by the government in the future.
Bars, shebeens, sporting events, conference centres, and cinemas will remain closed regardless of the alert level, stated Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa implored people not to travel and gather unnecessarily, as this can result in the virus spreading.
Wear a face mask
Ramaphosa also asked South Africans to wear a face mask whenever they leave home.
He added that over 70,000 SANDF personnel have been employed to assist with the coronavirus response efforts.
How the alert system works
Damage to economy
The national lockdown has caused huge damage to the South African economy.