Coronavirus: What you need to know ahead of nationwide lockdown

Johannesburg -On Wednesday ministers briefed the public on rules to follow ahead of national lockdown to begin at midnight on Thursday. This is to give clarity on what is allowed and not allowed during the lockdown.

Here is what you need to know:

Non-essential movement is not allowed. Police Minister Bheki Cele warned there will be consequences for those who try to leave their homes, unless for essential reasons such as buying groceries, collecting grants, seeking medical attention and buying medication. The minister also confirmed that gatherings will be banned with the exception of funerals, which must be attended by 50 people or less.

There will be restrictions on movements between provinces, metros and district areas, and roadblocks will be conducted on community, provincial and national roads to enforce these restrictions.

Cross-border trips will also not be allowed except for essential goods and cargo.

Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Transport confirmed that minibus taxis, metered taxis and e-hailing services will be limited during the lockdown. Not everyone will be allowed to leave home but only staff providing essential services and those out for essential reasons such as going to work, buying groceries.

Taxis will only be allowed to transport people for these essential trips from 05:00 to 09:00 and 16:00 to 20:00.

Passengers in vehicles will be limited.  A vehicle certified to carry up to four people, will only be allowed to carry one person. A vehicle licensed to carry up to eight people will only be allowed to carry three people.

Courier services will only be allowed for essential good, said Minister Mbalula.

Minister Cele said the sale and purchase of liquor would be prohibited at all shops. Shops are only allowed to sell essential food and goods while non-essential goods such as clothing will be prohibited, said the Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade and Industry. Places that do not adhere to these rules will be closed.

Public and Private facilities such as parks, beaches, public swimming pools, casinos, nightclubs, resorts, hotels, restaurants, taverns, cinemas, game reserves, shebeens, theatres, shopping malls, and cinemas will be closed.

Minister Mbalula said vehicle testing centres and drivers’ license testing centers will be closed during the lockdown.

If your driver’s licence expires during this time, it will remain valid for the duration of the lockdown and a 14-day grace period will be given thereafter.

The Minister of SocialDevelopment lLindiwe Zulu and Bheki Cele explained that the mechanisms for those who felt unsafe in their homes during the lockdown were put in place.  A hotline has been set up and victims can call 0800 428 428 for assistance

Shelters, old age homes, child and youth centres and rehabilitation centres will remain functional.

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