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Bulletin | Covid-19

National state of disaster: Alert Level 4 FAQs

Fasken
Reading Time 10 minute read
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Following the announcement of Alert Level 4 of the national state of disaster, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs issued Regulations in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 57 of 2002 (“the Regulations”) on 29 April 2020.

We answer some frequently asked questions below:

General

1.

Am I allowed to leave my house and, if so, under what conditions?

A person may leave their place of residence between 05h00 and 20h00 only to:

  • Perform an essential or permitted service (permitted in Alert Level 4)
  • Go to work, if in possession of an issued permit
  • Buy permitted goods
  • Obtain permitted services
  • Relocate children, as permitted
  • Walk, run or cycle, as permitted
  • Attend to a security or medical emergency
2.

When am I required to wear a face mask?

A person is required to wear a cloth face mask or homemade item which covers their nose and mouth when in a public place. A person may not use any form of public transport, or enter a building, place or premises, if they do not wear a face mask or homemade item that covers their nose and mouth.

3.

Am I allowed to exercise?

A person is allowed to walk, run or cycle between the hours of 06h00 to 09h00 within a five kilometre radius of their place of residence. This may not be done in organised groups.
4.

Is the sale of liquor permitted?

No. The sale, dispensing and distribution of liquor is prohibited. Liquor may not be transported unless it is required for export purposes or industries producing hand sanitisers, disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use and household cleaning products. Further, no special or event liquor licenses will be considered for approval for the duration of the national state of disaster.

5.

Is the sale of cigarettes permitted?

No. Despite what was stated in President Ramaphosa’s national address, the sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products is prohibited.

Following the publication of the Regulations, the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association has indicated its intention to launch an urgent High Court application against the Government’s ban on cigarettes.

6.

May I go to the hairdresser, barber or nail salon?

This is still not allowed under Alert Level 4.

7.

Am I allowed to obtain food from Restaurants?

Restaurants are allowed to deliver food between 9h00 and 19h00. No sit in or pick up will be allowed.

8.

Will recreational centers be open under Alert Level 4?

Places normally open to the public for religious, cultural, sporting, entertainment, exhibitional, organizational or similar activities remain closed during Alert Level 4. Furthermore, places where people may gather are prohibited. These include sports fields, parks, beaches, swimming pools, flea markets, fetes, night clubs, casinos, hotels, lodges, guest houses, public and private game reserves, taverns, theatres, cinemas and museums.
9.

What type of goods can be bought under Alert Level 4?

  • Food products, non-alcoholic beverages and animal food
  • Hot cooked food, only for home delivery
  • Toilet paper, sanitary pads, tampons and condoms
  • Hand sanitiser, disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use, household cleaning products and personal protective equipment
  • Products for care of babies and toddlers
  • Personal toiletries including haircare, body, face, hand and foot care products, roll-ons, deodorants, dental care products
  • Medical and hospital supplies, medicine, equipment and personal protective equipment
  • Fuel and lighting, including coal, wood, paraffin and gas
  • Airtime and electricity
  • Hardware, components and supplies
  • Components for vehicles undergoing emergency repairs
  • Chemicals packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any of the products listed here
  • Textiles required to produce face masks and other personal protective equipment and winter clothing
  • Winter clothing, footwear, bedding and heaters and the components and fabrics required to manufacture these
  • Children’s clothing and fabrics and components required to manufacture these
  • Stationery and educational books
  • Personal ICT equipment including computers, mobile telephones and other home office equipment
  • Directions may permit the incremental expansion of e-commerce

 

Travel

 

10.

Am I permitted to use public transport?

Rail, bus, taxi services, e-hailing services and private vehicles will gradually be allowed to resume operation under strict conditions. The Minister of Transport will issue directions allowing the resumption of public transport and setting out the steps to be followed for members of the public using public transport.

11.

Am I allowed to go to another province?

Movement between provinces, metropolitans and district areas is prohibited except for:

  • workers who have been permitted to perform an essential or permitted service and who have to commute to and from work on a daily basis;
  • the attendance of a funeral, as permitted;
  • the transportation of mortal remains;
  • learners who have to commute to and from school or a higher education institutions on a daily basis during periods when those institutions are permitted to operate; and
  • any person who was not at their place of residence or work before the lockdown period and who could not travel between provinces, metropolitan and district areas during the lockdown is permitted, on a once-off basis, to return to their place of residence or work and is required to stay in such place until the end of Alert Level 4.
12.

What are the different permits for? Do I need a permit?

Permits are required by those travelling to perform an essential or permitted service, the movement of children in certain circumstances and travelling to attend a funeral.

If a person has been granted a permit, they are required to travel with the permit and a form of identification. If no identification is presented, they will be required to return to their place of residence. The movement of a person which is not authorised by the Regulations and where such person is not in possession of a permit is an offence and is liable to a fine and/or imprisonment not exceeding six months.

- Permit to perform an essential or permitted service (Form 2, Annexure A)

If a person performs an essential or permitted service, they must be authorised in writing by the head of an institution, or a person designated by him or her, to perform such service. The form of the authorisation must correspond with Form 2 of Annexure A of the Regulations.

A Cabinet member responsible for small enterprises may issue directions in respect of small or micro enterprises, co-operatives, informal traders and spaza shops.

- Permit for the movement of children to travel to another Province/Metropolitan Area/District (Form 3, Annexure A)

A permit is required for the movement of children to travel in three specified situations. Importantly, the household to which the child has to move must be free of COVID-19.

  • Same metropolitan area/ district municipality

If a court order or parenting plan (registered with a family advocate) is not available, the movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights (‘co-holders’) or a caregiver in the same metropolitan area or district municipality is permitted if such caregiver is in possession of a permit issued by a Magistrate.

  •  Different metropolitan areas, district municipality or provinces

The movement of children between co-holders or caregivers in different metropolitan areas, district municipality or provinces is permitted if such caregiver is in possession of a permit issued by a Magistrate.

  • Change of residence

Children not at the residence of their primary caregiver before the lockdown period and who could not travel between provinces, metropolitan and district areas during the lockdown are permitted, on a once-off basis,to return to the residence of their primary caregiver if the co-holder or caregiver is in possession of a permit issued by a Magistrate.

- Permit to travel to another province/metropolitian area/district for a funeral (Form 4 of Annexure A)

Each person, whether travelling alone or not, wishing to attend a funeral and who has to travel between districts or between provinces to attend a funeral must obtain a permit from their nearest Magistrate’s office or police station to travel to the funeral and back.

In order to obtain a permit, a death certificate (or copy thereof) must be produced by the person requesting a permit. Where a death certificate is not yet available and the funeral must be held within 24 hours in terms of cultural or religious practices, the person requesting the permit must depose to a sworn affidavit and must produce a letter from a cultural or religious leader confirming the need for the funeral within 24 hours.

13.

Am I allowed to travel to a holiday home within the same province?

Movement between provinces, metropolitans and district areas is prohibited except in certain circumstances. A person may travel to a place of residence on a once-off basis without a permit and will be required to stay in such place until the end of Alert Level 4.

 

Work

 

14.

Am I allowed to go to work?

If a person performs an essential or permitted service, they are permitted to leave their place of residence to go to work.

15.

What is the difference between essential services and permitted services?

‘Essential service’is defined in the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 and means a service the interruption of which endangers the life, personal safety or health of the whole or any part of the population, the Parliamentary service, and the South African Police Services. Essential Services are listed in Annexure D of the Regulations.

‘Permitted service’includes all services listed in Table 1 of the Regulations. People in the listed industries and activities are permitted to work outside the home and travel to and from work subject to strict health protocols and social distancing rules. Return to work is to be phased in to enable measures to make the workplace COVID-19-ready and return to work is to be done in a manner that avoids and reduces risks of infection.

16.

What industries are allowed to resume operations?

  • Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing
  • Electricity, Gas and Water Supply
  • Manufacturing subject to strict health protocols and scaling up of employment depending the product being manufactured
  • Construction and related services
  • Wholesale and retail trade, covering stores, spaza shops, e-commerce and informal traders
  • Information and Communication Services
  • Media and Entertainment Services
  • Financial and Business Service
  • Accommodation for quarantine and essential services only
  • Food delivery services only
  • Transport, storage and communication services
  • Mining and Quarrying
  • Repair and related emergency services
  • Supply chains for the production of or rendering of permitted goods and services
  • Private household’s employment including live in staff and staff providing care to the elderly, mentally ill, people with disabilities and children
  • Public administration, government services and other arms of the state
  • Health, social and personal services
  • Education Services, as will be set out in a separate schedule
17.

What goods may be exported?

  • Agricultural, agro-processing, forestry and fishing products
  • Manufacturing products and mining products permitted for production under Alert Level 4 subject to directions by the relevant Minister.
18.

Am I allowed to commute daily between provinces for work?

If a person has been granted a permit to perform an essential or permitted service, they may travel to and from work on a daily basis.

19.

Are there any special requirements I must comply with if I re-open my business?

All industries which are permitted to operate during Alert Level 4 must:

  • Designate a COVID-19 compliance officer to oversee the implementation of a Workplace Plan and adhere to the required health standards and hygiene protocols;
  • Develop a Workplace Plan, which Plan must be available for inspection and contain the following information:
    • which employees are permitted to work;
    • plans for the phased-in return of employees;
    • health protocols in place;
    • details of the compliance officer; and
    • further information required in terms of Annexure E of the Regulations,
  • Phase in the return of employees; and
  • Develop measures to ensure compliance with health protocols and social distancing measures, as required.
20.

Am I required to provide face masks and hand sanitiser to my employees?

An employer must provide to any employee who may come into direct contact with members of the public as part of their duties with a cloth face mask to cover their nose and mouth.

Every business premises, including but not limited to a supermarket, shop, grocery store, retail store, wholesale produce market or pharmacy shall provide hand sanitisers for use by the public and employees at the entrance of the premises.

21.

What measures must I adopt to promote physical distancing of employees?

Employees must adopt measures to promote physical distancing, including:

  • enabling employees to work from home;
  • providing adequate space in the workplace;
  • adopting special measures for employees with known or existing health issues or comorbities and for employees above the age of 60; and
  • restricting face to face meetings.

 

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