Millions of South Africans will tune in to watch president Cyril Ramaphosa address the nation on Thursday night, with clearer answers on the national lockdown and conditions around relaxation of some regulations expected.
A draft proposal explaining a five-stage “alert-system” to ease lockdown regulations that was presented to cabinet on Monday has been leaked. Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko confirmed the authenticity of the document but said it was “outdated” and had been prepared as “early input into the development of risk-adjusted approach to resuming economic activity”.
TimesLIVE reported the plan outlines five levels of so-called eased lockdown, ranging from severe to lax.
Though the document is a draft, it does offer insight into key issues Ramaphosa may address.
Here are five critical topics from the draft proposal:
Different lockdown level based on risk
The document outlines the alert level at a provincial level, which will be based on the number of cases in that province. Premiers, in conjunction with the health minister, will determine these alert levels for specific districts within the province. This will allow some economic activity while curbing the spread of the coronavirus in hard-hit areas.
What about booze?
The sale of alcohol will be allowed under level three (moderate virus spread and moderate health-system readiness) and lower, but will be sold within restricted hours.
Restaurant out, takeout in
The document proposes that under level three, some restrictions can be eased such as takeaway food outlets, clothing stores and limited domestic rail and air travel and some government services. At the same time, the document suggests that some sectors remain closed, no matter the level of alert. This includes restaurants, shebeens and entertainment venues, like cinemas.
Sport on hold
The draft proposal considered by cabinet also suggested curtailing sporting events and religious and cultural gatherings.
Over 60? You’ll be asked to work from home
Earlier this month Prof Salim Abdool Karim, the government’s Covid-19 ministerial advisory committee chairperson, said the possibility of a partial lockdown for the elderly, needed to be considered. The proposal put forward to cabinet suggests workers 60 and older adopt a work from home strategy. It also proposes that companies put these workers on leave with full pay if they cannot work from home.
TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)