All South African restaurants, takeaways and food delivery to be closed during coronavirus lockdown

Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kuyabi-Ngubane has confirmed that all South African restaurants and takeaways will be closed during South Africa’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown.

In a statement sent to the restaurant industry on Tuesday (24 March), Kuyabi-Ngubane said that the lockdown would apply to all:

  • Restaurants;
  • Bars;
  • Cafes;
  • Coffee shops.

“Such service providers have not been included on the list of what has deemed essential services during the lockdown, will not be permitted to operate and will thus need to be closed for the duration,” Kuyabi-Ngubane said.

“In addition, in compliance with the nationwide lockdown all food delivery services will also need to be suspended for 21 days with effect from midnight, 26 March 2020 until midnight Thursday, 16 April 2020.”

Government is expected to provide clarity on which jobs will be considered ‘essential services’ on Wednesday. However, president Cyril Ramaphosa has already confirmed that companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open during the 21-day ‘lockdown’.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel further outlined the types of jobs which will likely be covered by the legislation in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The staff mentioned are over and above the sectors already outlined by the president, which included doctors, pharmacies, healthcare workers, petrol stations, and supermarkets.

The essential staff in the following areas are being looked at for inclusion in the gazetted list:

  1. Those responsible for essential care of the elderly and sick persons, including home-care and old-age homes;
  2. Essential private security services for the protection of property and persons;
  3. All essential back-office services to enable salary and human resource departments to work so as to ensure smooth management of wage and salary payments;
  4. Essential animal welfare and emergency veterinary services;
  5. Those who assist in transporting food and other essentials to people’s homes including online retail, as well as transport systems that support any of the essential services;
  6. Key maintenance systems required at workplaces to avoid serious damage to economic assets, where the interruption of that service will destroy critical working areas, factories or machinery;
  7. Members of Parliament, provincial legislatures, municipal councils and their core staff, as well as government departments and public entities’ staff responsible to assist with implementation of the measures announced by the president, as they will all need to be working to make the country safe;
  8. Members of the media and broadcasting services, who will serve as a vital communication between government and the public;
  9. Transportation of fuel, food and basic goods supply trucks between SADC countries.

“Businesses which remain in operation during the ‘lockdown’ will be required to do so with all the staff required to ensure that the service or production is uninterrupted,” Patel said.

“Businesses will also be required to take necessary protocols to ensure adequate hygiene and social distancing.

“Consumer-facing businesses, like grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacies and spaza shops, especially, will be asked to educate their staff and customers on the required protocols and to take reasonable steps to keep social distancing between customers,” he said.


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All South African restaurants, takeaways and food delivery to be closed during coronavirus lockdown