Last night Minister of Cooperative Governance, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told us more about the rules we’d be following under the next stage of nationwide lockdown – level 4. These regulations come in to play tomorrow, 1 May 2020. There are several reasons for staging the ‘re-opening’ of cities and provinces during the COVID-19 pandemic in various levels. Mainly, it is to allow certain people to return to work and allow some activities to resume, while still protecting the nation against the virus.
The last few days have been filled with uncertainty around what life under level 4 lockdown will look like. With many different documents and explanations doing the rounds on the Internet and social media. But, after the minister’s speech, things became clearer.
Here, we answer some of the more pertinent questions about what to expect under lockdown level 4…
Can we exercise during lockdown level 4?
It depends on the kind of exercise you plan on doing but, in short, yes we can! While public gyms remain closed, and group exercise is prohibited, you will be able to raise that heartbeat and stretch those legs. The minister announced that as of 1 May, we’ll be permitted to jog, run and cycle – under conditions. The conditions are that you may exercise only between 6am and 9am, and that you stay within a 5km radius of your home. The joggers, runners and cyclists among us are smiling.
Will restaurants and bars be open?
This is tricky because, while sit-down restaurants, bars and shebeens remain closed, we will now be able to order takeaways. Which means we’ll finally get a break from cooking three meals a day! Under the new regulations, takeaways will be available for delivery between 9am and 8pm. Check out the delivery apps to see which restaurants are open for delivery. Fingers crossed, we’ll be able to buy sushi again.
What are the rules regarding travel?
The easy answer is that they’re just about the same as when we were under level 5 lockdown. No travel between provinces is permitted, unless under very specific circumstances. And, there will be no international or domestic air travel. There’s also a curfew stipulating that people without a permit must stay in their homes between 8pm and 5am. And, for some sad news, no visiting of family and friends, either. In short, we’re all still to #StayHome.
Can we buy clothing during lockdown level 4?
Some exciting news for those of us who haven’t been able to get our shopping fix for the last few weeks! Under the new regulations, some clothing and textiles will be available to purchase – both in-store and online. According to the new information, we’ll be allowed to buy winter clothing, children’s clothing, shoes and bedding. We’re still not sure how the specific logistics will work, but this is good news and we’re not going to ask too many questions.
Will we be able to go back to work?
This is still one of the hardest questions to answer. Because, while most businesses and industries will be allowed to operate within certain constraints during the new level of lockdown, we’re still being encouraged to stay at home. In fact, authorities have said that if you can work from home, you should – meaning there’s an obligation to do so. However, businesses that will be allowed to re-open include hardware stores, IT services, as well as those in agriculture and admin.
You can read the full government gazette regarding lockdown level 4 here.
Can we buy wine?
The sale of alcohol has been one of the most hotly debated and controversial topics during our time in lockdown. And there have been dozens of reports of the looting of liquor stores throughout SA. But, it has been maintained that prohibiting the sale of alcohol is in our best interests, and we must trust the powers at be. The sale of cigarettes is also prohibited.
So, to answer the question, no we can’t buy wine. Or gin. Or bubbly for Mother’s Day. Time to reach way back into the depths of the cellar and see what’s left?
If you still need more clarity, below is a useful summary of the new level 4 regulations.
Written by Features Editor Stephanie van der Plank