lockdownOn 23 April 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation and announced that from 1 May 2020 the nationwide lock down will be uplifted in a gradual and phased recovery process to ensure that economic activity can be revived through stages. The process will proceed in 5 strictly monitored alert levels and risk-adjusted strategies depending on the working or business sector and various other precautionary measures that would need to be implemented for the uplifting to be successful and not result in reverting to level 5 lock down.

According to the 5 stages, the nation has been on a level 5 lock down since 26 March 2020 which is defined by the current government strategy as “drastic measures to contain the spread of the virus and save lives” where only Businesses, Employers and Employees defined as essential services under the existing regulations of the Disaster Management Act were able to continue trading during the lock down.

After approximately 6 weeks of the nation being under level 5 lock down, certain sectors other than essential services will finally be permitted to open up their doors again under level 4 measures which has been defined by Government as “extreme precautions to limit community transmission and outbreaks, while allowing some activity to resume”. As per level 4, businesses which may open their doors on 1 May 2020 would include a limited number of sectors with a low rate of transmission and high economic or social value including but not limited to; all essential goods and services, certain retail stores, informal traders, delivery of food by restaurants and fast food outlets and any business that can trade by adhering to the level 4 measures and risk adjusted strategies implemented by Government.

Depending on the province, the metro area, the type of business and the coronavirus infections rate, a close monitoring of the situation will be underway, and it is possible that certain areas of businesses will revert to level 5 if infection rates increase in that area or sector. Reverting to level 5 will be on a case by case basis and based on rates of infections across the country.