The Rules: No cigarettes, no alcohol, no dogwalks… not much of anything at all

The police minister has warned the public that if the nation does not adhere to these prescriptions, we could be heading for a state of emergency, which will be even worse.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has signed the government notice outlining the regulations that will be in effect during the 21-day national shutdown kicking in from Friday morning.

Anyone not adhering to these regulations faces a fine or six months’ imprisonment.

Groups of people will not be able to exceed 50, maximum, at any time. Church services, restaurants, bars, night clubs, taverns, shebeens and similar establishments would need to be shut down.

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The regulations prohibit movement between provinces, and the selling or buying of anything except essential goods, including non-alcoholic beverages. Government has also backtracked on the health minister okaying dog walking and jogging, with the police minister making it clear on Wednesday afternoon that walking your dog or any form of outdoor exercise do not form part of the allowed regulations.

Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel also dropped the bombshell on Wednesday that cigarette sales would be stopped, as they are not considered a basic good.

No person would be allowed to transport alcohol from one point to another.

“You should have a good reason for being on the street,” Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has said. “You are expected to be at home.”

Shops will be opened for food and medication. No clothing stores will be allowed to operate.

No one suspected of having Covid-19 may refuse medical examination, admission to a health establishment, quarantine site or isolation site. Treatment will be mandatory.

Anyone may be subjected to screening for Covid-19 by an enforcement officer. Foreign tourists will be subject to being locked down.

Attendance at funerals will be limited to 50 people, with no night vigils and all safety precautions adhered to.

During the lockdown, citizens will be confined to their places of residence unless they are performing an essential task, obtaining an essential good or service, collecting a social grant or seeking emergency, life-saving or chronic medical attention.

Aside from not being able to leave provinces, there will be no movement between district and metropolitan areas.

All businesses must be closed except for those involved in the manufacture of essential goods, or the supply or provision of an essential service. All liquor outlets will be closed.

Government has advised that people should buy their essential goods from their nearest outlets, and in townships that would include spaza shops.

Retail stores selling essential goods will be prohibited from selling any other goods and a retailer must put in place controls to ensure that consumers keep a one-metre distance from each other.

As for public transport, no commuter transport will be allowed except for the purposes of seeking essential goods, receiving social grants, attending funerals and seeking medical attention. Vehicles will only be allowed to carry 50% of their licensed capacity and must follow all directions regarding hygienic conditions and the limiting of exposure.

Mbalula clarified more of the regulations Wednesday evening.

He explained that minibus taxis, as well as people using the Uber and Bolt apps, would only be able to operate between 5am and 9pm and 4pm and 8pm during the 21-day lockdown. They could only carry essential workers and people making “permitted movements”.

All minibus taxis would need to be sanitised after every trip and taxi ranks would also need to be sanitised regularly. All Metrorail and Gautrain services will be shut down.

“Vehicles licensed for eight people may only carry three people, while cars licensed for four people may only carry one,” he added.

“Vehicle testing centres and driving licence testing stations will be closed. Should your licence expire during lockdown, it will be valid until the end of the lockdown,” he added.

As part of relief measures of small businesses in distress, minibus taxis that have been financed by SEFA will be granted a three-month repayment holiday. Commercial banks are also considering similar measures.

Mbalula advised that all international and domestic flights would be prohibited during the lockdown. Only essential air cargo would be allowed, with cargo from high-risk countries needing to be sanitised.

The remaining 18 open border posts would continue conveying goods between South Africa and neighbouring countries but no person would be allowed through for the next 21 days.

Where a person renders an essential service and is unable to travel to and from the place of employment, the employer must arrange transport, keeping in mind the prohibition on filling vehicles to beyond 50% of licensed capacity.

Courier services may only be used for delivery of pharmaceuticals.

Anyone who can’t self-isolate at home can be removed to a temporary shelter by an enforcement officer.

Home affairs will only be issuing temporary IDs, replacement birth certificates and death certificates during the lockdown, and will be operating with reduced staffing.

Parents with share custody of children were advised that they would need to decide by Thursday night whose household that child would be staying with for the duration of the lockdown.

South Africans were advised that pictures being circulated on social media of the army in cities were fake news. The army would be deployed, but only in a supportive role to the police.

You can read the full regulations in full below.

Final Lockdown Regulations by Charles Cilliers on Scribd

This article first appeared here on the Citizen site. 

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