In our short newsflash regarding the Level 3 Lockdown, published yesterday, we spread the good news about getting back to work. If you want to know more, what follows are the highlights (and lowlights) of the new regulations dated 28 May 2020. If you want to read the regulations yourself, here is a LINK.
THE MOVE TO LEVEL 3 AND THE CREATION OF HOTSPOTS
1. While the whole country will be moving to Level 3 on Monday 1 June 2020, it is clear that government sees the possibility of reclassifying certain “hotspot” areas at higher levels should they think this is necessary. Cape Town is one of the areas at risk, as it has now been officially included in a list of these “hotspots”. Also included in the list are the West Coast, Overberg and Cape Winelands district municipality.
WHO CAN TRADE?
2. All businesses can open, except for the businesses listed in Table 2 to the regulations. Included in the list of businesses than may still not operate are restaurants serving food for consumption at the point of sale; pubs; Airbnb type operations; domestic passenger air travel for leisure; conferences and events, including sports. Also prohibited from operating are personal care services such as hairdressers; certain public transport and education services; and tourist attractions, casinos and places offering entertainment activities. It is notable that all restaurants serving take-aways will now be allowed to operate. Businesses that can open can carry out all the functions of their business.
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
3. The restriction on movement has been substantially relaxed. We are all allowed to travel to and from work, and for work purposes. We can also go out to buy any goods and services that can be sold. As expected, going to a place of worship is also allowed, provided you do not cross provincial boundaries. Regrettably however members of the public can’t cross district or municipal or provincial boundaries to buy goods or obtain a service. This will make it difficult for estate agents to show properties to prospective purchasers or tenants not living in the same district.
4. The hours for exercise have also been extended from 6am until 6pm and it appears that the radius of 5km from your house, within which you had to do your exercise, has been done away with. Just don’t exercise in a group and maintain social distancing. Non-contact professional sports training and matches are also allowed, provided there are no spectators.
5. When in public places you must always wear a mask (or other homemade item) to cover your nose and mouth.
6. Movement out of hotspots (like the Cape Town Metropolitan area) is now also regulated, just like movement between districts, municipalities and provinces. If you are crossing these boundaries for work, you will need a permit issued by your employer. If you are doing so to move to a new house, or to care for an immediate family member, you will just need an affidavit in the form as set out in Form 6 of annexure A. The form of the affidavit can be viewed HERE. Usually an affidavit can be commissioned by any commissioner of oaths (like an attorney) but in Note 1 on the form it states that the affidavit can only be signed at a magistrate’s court or a police station. So much for streamlining the process!
7. Movement is also permitted for learners and students, for attending funerals, and for obtaining medical treatment.
8. The movement of children and for those attending funerals is regulated in detail in sections 34 and 35 of the latest regulations and, in most cases, will require a permit.
9. Evictions can be granted but must be suspended to take effect (at the earliest) on the last day of Alert Level 3. If there are compelling circumstances a court may make an order to allow the eviction to take place at an earlier date.
10. All gatherings remain prohibited, with certain exceptions, including:
- religious gatherings, with a maximum number of 50 people. The number could be less depending on the space available, but never more than 50;
- workplace gatherings for work;
- funerals; and
- professional non-contact sports matches, without spectators.
TRADITIONAL INITIATION PRACTICES
11. All traditional initiation practices are prohibited during Lockdown Level 3.
MOST NON-COMMERCIAL PLACES REMAIN CLOSED
12. These include gyms, sports grounds, fêtes, clubs, casinos, game reserves, bars, taverns, shebeens, theatres, cinemas, beaches and public parks. Hotels and guest houses must also stay closed unless they are providing accommodation for people under quarantine or providing essential services; or for people who are travelling for work.
13. Social visits to places of detention, hospitals and residential facilities for the elderly are prohibited. Because we are prohibited from leaving our houses, except for specified purposes, social visits to friends’ homes are also not allowed.
INTERNATIONAL BORDERS CLOSED
14. Our international borders remain closed, except for diplomatic and humanitarian travel purposes.
TRANSPORTATION OF CARGO
15. The import and export of cargo, and the transporting of goods around the country, whether by road, rail, sea, or air is allowed.
16. We can expect additional regulations as the various modes of public transport resume to facilitate the movement of people for work. This will include the resumption of domestic air travel for work.
THE SALE OF ALCOHOL
17. The sale of liquor will be allowed from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 5pm. No liquor may be sold on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Liquor, for consumption off the premises, will be able to be sold in the usual way from shops and bottle stores, and also from restaurants, bars, shebeens and taverns that hold a license to serve alcohol for consumption on the premises.
18. These liquor outlets can start stocking up for the inevitable demand from Friday 29 May 2020.
CIGARETTES AND TOBACCO
19. All tobacco products and e-cigarettes remain prohibited.
THE OPERATION OF BUSINESSES
20. Businesses with more than 100 staff members must limit the number of people at work by rotating staff, staggering working hours, working shifts, and working from home, to achieve social distancing.
21. Health protocols and social distancing measures must also be implemented for domestic workers.
22. Special measures must be adopted to protect those over 60 and those with co-morbidities.
23. The obligations on companies with more than 500 staff members are even more far reaching.
24. All sectors or industry bodies must develop specific protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19 in their sector. Here is a LINK to the protocols developed by REBOSA for application in the real estate sector.
25. Each business that can operate must appoint a Compliance Officer to develop and enforce workplace protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19.
26. Government has clearly woken up to the need to start saving the economy, even if this is at the expense of more lives lost to COVID-19. This is a delicate balancing act, and whatever the government does they will be criticised by one group or another. Their response has not been perfect, and it never will be. That is why we need to consider our own personal response to the pandemic and make choices that fit in with our own circumstances, especially now that we are going to be working again.
27. Firstly, and most importantly, we need to protect others from ourselves. We do this by behaving as if we already have the virus and by acting in a way that prevents it from spreading.
28. Secondly, we need to analyse our own risk profile and act in way that takes this into account. The risk that we ultimately bear is the risk of death, so we need to take this extremely seriously.
29. Both of these goals can be advanced by adopting the sensible approach of wearing a mask, by the regular washing of hands, and by keeping a safe distance from others. These practices should now become second nature.
30. It is easy to criticise the regulations that have been implemented, but the vast majority of the ideas are being implemented for the general wellbeing of us all. We therefore urge you to take the rules seriously and to play by them. Your survival, or the survival of a family member or a friend might depend on it.
Miltons Matsemela Inc
28 May 2020