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COVID-19 Transmission Risk Key Factor In Determining Resumption Of Business

COVID-19 Transmission Risk Key Factor In Determining Resumption Of Business

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that as of 1 May, several provisions governing the lockdown regulations will be lifted as it gets downgraded from Level 5 to Level 4.

Under the new system, several businesses which are key drivers of the economy will be allowed to operate at a predetermined capacity and some employees will be returning to their workplaces.

Additional categories of goods will also be sold in stores as well as cigarettes.

The economy has been bleeding billions of rands with each passing day since the lockdown was enforced 29 days ago, as businesses were forced to halt operations, while the labour market has shed thousands of jobs.

While President Ramaphosa explained that there needed to be a balance between resuming economic activity and saving lives, the presentation made to Cabinet on the easing of the lockdown showed that values of sectors to the economy, GDP and employment were weighed against the restrictions.

However, key to this was the transmission risk that would be posed by the resumption of businesses.

“We will give all industry bodies an opportunity to consider these details and should they wish, to make submissions before the new regulations are gazetted. They are free to do so.”

This week, the mining industry was permitted to operate at 50% capacity, with government saying that a prolonged suspension of operations would lead to increased safety risks.

Meanwhile, under Level Four, borders will remain closed except for repatriation, travel between provinces unless under exceptional circumstances is still banned. The sale of alcohol is still prohibited as well as social, sporting, religious and cultural gatherings.