Level 4 lockdown: Still no alcohol, but cigarette sales permitted

President Ramaphosa said South Africa will move from level 5 lockdown, which it is currently under, to level 4 from 1 May.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the nation on Thursday, 23 April 2020. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said government had decided to ease the current lockdown regulations after 30 April, calling it a phased resumption of economic activity.

He has been addressing the nation on Thursday night after meeting with political party leaders and the national command council.

Ramaphosa said South Africa will move from level 5 lockdown, which it is currently under, to level 4 from 1 May.

"All businesses that are permitted to resume operations will be required to do so in a phased manner, first preparing the workplace for a return to operations, followed by the return of the workforce in batches of no more than one-third."

He said there was clear indications to show that the lockdown slowed down the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

“If the virus spreads too quickly, there a nor enough hospital beds and ventilators for everyone who needs it.”

The president said the lockdown could not be sustained indefinitely.

“Our people need to eat and earn a living.”

WATCH LIVE: Ramaphosa addresses the nation on economic activity

Here is what will happen under level 4 lockdown:

  • Our borders will remain closed to international travel, except for the repatriation of South African nationals and foreign citizens;

  • No travel will be allowed between provinces, except for the transportation of goods and exceptional circumstances such as funerals;

  • Public transport will continue to operate, with limitations on the number of passengers and stringent hygiene requirements, including that all passengers must wear a face mask;

  • The public is encouraged to stay at home, other than for essential personal movement, doing essential work and work in sectors that are under controlled opening;

  • People can exercise under strict conditions;

  • All gatherings, apart from funerals and for work, will remain prohibited;

  • Elders and those with underlying conditions must stay at home;

  • The sale of cigarette permitted;

  • The range of goods that may be sold will be extended to incorporate certain additional categories;

  • Bars, shebeens and entertainment venues to remain closed;

  • Religious and sporting events still suspended.

This comes with the news that there has been a major jump in the death toll and infections from COVID-19.

The health ministry said there had been 10 more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the toll to 75.

In addition, there have been 318 new infections, with 3,953 people now infected.

However, 1,473 people have recovered.