Exercise allowed, but still no tobacco products during level 4 lockdown
Citizens will be allowed to jog, walk or cycle when SA moves to level 4 lockdown on Friday, but the government has backtracked on its decision to allow the sale of tobacco products.
Co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Wednesday briefed the country on the final regulations for level 4.
Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the Covid-19 national lockdown would ease slightly from the beginning of May. Some businesses will reopen under strict conditions, but many of the current restrictions will remain in place, as the risk of infection remains high.
The government published draft regulations at the weekend, giving the public an opportunity to comment and submit proposals.
Dlamini-Zuma said the government received more than 70,000 submissions from members of the public. There were also about 800 submissions from the business sector.
She said the most popular submission was on exercise, with the government receiving more than 22,000 requests to allow it.
From Friday, South Africans will be allowed to jog, walk or cycle, but only within a 5km radius of their homes and only between 6am and 9am, Dlamini-Zuma said.
Exercise will not be allowed to be done in groups.
During his address to the nation last week, Ramaphosa said the sale of tobacco products would be allowed under level 4.
Dlamini-Zuma, however, said after much consultation the government had decided to leave the ban in place.
“We had consulted about allowing cigarettes and related tobacco products and as you remember even at the press conference [on Saturday] there was quite an opposition to that and even in the public comments there was opposition ... and of course the government then took that into consideration, debated the matter and decided we must continue as we are when it comes to cigarettes. We should not open up the sale,” she said.
The minister said this was for health reasons.
Dlamini-Zuma warned that though SA was easing the national lockdown, citizens were still required to stay at home.
People were only allowed to leave their homes to go shopping, or to go to work or perform a function allowed under level 4. She said while some industries were reopening, those who could work from home should continue to do so.
South Africans would not be allowed to leave their homes between 8pm and 5am unless they have a permit.
Social visits are also not allowed during level 4.
Dlamini-Zuma also announced that there would be a “once-off movement” for those who had left the province where they worked or lived just before the lockdown and wanted to return. Details of this were not provided.
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