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How public establishments, prisons will be affected by COVID-19 regulations

The regulations follow the declaration of a national state of disaster by President Cyril Ramaphosa on containing the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

FILE: A bartender pours a draught beer. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Ministers in the Security Cluster, Police Minister Bheki Cele and Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola on Friday briefed the media on the implementation of coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations following the declaration of a national state of disaster on preventing and reducing the outbreak of the virus in the country.

Here’s a summary of measures being implemented by the police and the Department of Correctional Services:

• Church leaders who do not comply with the government regulations with regard to the number of people gathered (not more than 100 people) will be arrested.

• Spotters will be deployed in all of the restaurants, pubs and clubs to monitor spaces and adherence to the regulations in order to minimise the spread of the virus. The spotters will be mostly SAPS members, some will be dressed in their uniform and others will not.

• A restaurant that serves food may continue with business, but no alcohol will be sold after 6pm.

• Alcohol will be sold between 9am and 6pm during weekdays, but until 1pm on weekends.

• Restaurants will be required to have registers so customers can be traced if needs be.

• The spotters will keep an eye on the 19,971 taverns, 11,000 bottle stores, 9,747 restaurants and 2,518 night clubs across the country. Should these establishments be found to have over 50 patrons at a time, police will disperse the excess patrons.

• No street bashes will be permitted and their organisers will be taken into detention by police.

• Police officers are urged to respond accordingly to complaints of noise from establishments even if the report was five minutes after 6pm.

• Members of the public will be permitted to only visit police stations when necessary.

• Applications for police clearances, the taking of fingerprints, renewals of firearms licences, certified documents that are not urgent should be postponed.

• Members of the public who enter police stations will have to comply with sanitary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

• Courts will be open but will be restricted for urgent matters only.

• Correctional service visits are suspended for a period of 30 days and reviewed again on 15 April 2020.

• Correctional facilities will be sanitised according to the regulations.

• Inmates will be allowed to go to court but in cases of postponements, video conferences will be used by the National Prosecuting Authority, courts, and correctional centres.

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To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.