The Pressure Is On To Skip Level Three Of The Lockdown And Quickly Move To Level Two

Government is facing increased pressure from business and labour to open the economy.  These stakeholders are calling for an accelerated transition from lockdown level 4 to lockdown level 2, so that full economic activity is able to resume as quickly as possible.  This is taking place with full acknowledgement that South Africa’s COVID-19 infection peak is now anticipated only in August or September.

Finance Minister Titu Mboweni has also come out in support of an accelerated resumption of economic activity indicating: ‘The quicker we are able to reach level two, the better’.

In the light of the above, what are we to expect if level three is implemented?

Although restrictions will be eased, strict measures, such as social distancing and wearing of masks, will be maintained.  Some of the changes expected include the following:

  • clothing, textiles and footwear will operate at full capacity
  • stationery, books and hardware will be available
  • sale and consumption of off-premises alcohol is to take place, subject to limited hours (Mondays to Wednesdays, 8h00 to 12h00)
  • postal and courier services to operate at full capacity
  • limited domestic air travel, with a restriction on the number of flights per day
  • mining operations to operate at full capacity
  • gardening and swimming pool services to start operating.

What will potentially stay are the following restrictions:

  • the restriction on recreational travel to meet family or friends
  • staying at home, other than essential travel for work and the purchase of essential items
  • the prohibition on public gatherings
  • curfews from 20h00 to 5h00

It is unclear whether, during this stage, the sale of tobacco will be permitted.  It is also unclear, during this stage, the extent to which walking, jogging or cycling will be permitted.

The SALLR team expects relevant authorities to shortly make announcements in the above regard.

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It is apparent that government initially took the viewpoint that vaccination against Covid-19 should not be compulsory.  However, it appears that the recently-promulgated Consolidated Directions on Occupational Health and Safety Measures (‘the Directions’)[1] signifies a very different approach.

Watch out for the SALLR 37th Annual Seminar this year.

Watch out for the SALLR 37th Annual Seminar this year.