On the evening of the 23rd of April, President Ramaphosa announced the phased lifting of lockdown regulations in South Africa.
South Africa is currently in level 5 of lockdown which is also referred to as “hard lockdown” and is the strictest of the 5 phases.
However, as the President of South Africa stated, this phase cannot be sustained indefinitely due to the major impact it has had on our fragile economy so far.
The proactive approach taken to implement a hard lockdown in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic was indeed a respectable decision as it played a fundamental role in mitigating the spread of the virus in our country.
This prompt decision made by our President was applauded by world leaders and medical experts across the globe.
However, the impact that the lockdown has had on our economy has been monumental, and a phased lifting of the lockdown has become necessary.
This means that beyond the 30th of April, South Africa will begin the long-awaited, controlled and gradual return to economic activity.
A collective sigh of relief was felt by the entire country after the President’s announcement, but what does level 4 actually mean for businesses?
There is still much uncertainty regarding who will be able to return to business as usual, and what restrictions will be in place for those who do.
Therefore, the country will follow a risk-adjusted strategy aimed at continuously assessing the national risk and infection rate in each province, district and metropole.
This strategy has been carefully developed by experts who made it clear that an abrupt return to normal economic activity will lead to a sudden and exponential infection rate. It’s therefore crucial that everyone adheres to the implemented regulations in each of the 5 phases.
The 5 phases of lockdown in South Africa are broken down in the following way:
As South Africa enters into level 4, all businesses resuming operations will have to adhere to strict conditions with stringent health and safety protocols and newly developed strategies around cleanliness in the workplace.
Additionally, companies will be required to develop strict plans for the return of their workforce which will include limiting the number of employees who will be allowed to return and those who are able to work remotely are expected to do so.
The following restrictions are in place during level 4 of South Africa’s lockdown:
Social distancing and other efforts made by the citizens of South Africa to prevent the transmission of the virus remains of utmost importance.
The following measures should still be taken by all members of the public:
Our attorneys understand how frustrating the lockdown period has been and will continue to be for essential and non-essential businesses alike.
There is no doubt that it will take some time before our country can return to normal activity while staying safe from COVID-19.
However, in order to fast-track the return to business as usual, it’s imperative that we all adhere to the relevant restrictions in each phase.
For more information regarding level 4 lockdown regulations in South Africa and what that means for your business, please contact us.
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