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Health protocols 'must be met' before domestic workers return to work

They are among the eight million workers that Patel said would be heading back to help to get the wheels of the economy turning again after weeks of lockdown.

FILE: While many employers had continued to pay domestic workers throughout the lockdown, some had not because they too had lost income. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Domestic workers would be among those able to return to work from Monday.

But, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel on Thursday said conditions should be safe for them to do so.

They are among the eight million workers that Patel said would be heading back to help to get the wheels of the economy turning again after weeks of lockdown.

During a briefing on Thursday on the easing of restrictions for level 3, Patel acknowledged the harm the lockdown caused on the economy since it began late March. But, he said it had bought the economy valuable time.

While many employers had continued to pay domestic workers throughout the lockdown, some had not because they too had lost income.

Patel said health and hygiene protocols should be met when domestic workers return to work.

“On the question of whether domestic workers are able to return to work, the answer is yes, but subject of course to the health protocols being followed,” Patel said.

“There are particular challenges sometimes in a domestic environment and we will be looking to see whether the existing directions may need to be elaborated or expanded to provide for circumstances like that. But as domestic workers return, it’s absolutely vital that it be done in those circumstances where it can be done so safely,” he added.

The ban on alcohol also lifts next week, but it could only be sold between 9 am and 5 pm from Monday to Thursday.

Patel said while all premises licensed to sell alcohol could do so, it should be in sealed containers for consumption at home, and not on-site.

WATCH: SA lockdown level 3 - sale of alcohol, religious gatherings and schools open

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.