South Africa relaxes coronavirus lockdown rules for funerals

After consulting with South Africa’s national Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has published updated regulations for South Africa’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown.

These amendments will enhance the national integrated response measures while also clarifying the application of the regulations relating to government’s measures to reduce the risk of infection and curtail the spread of Covid-19 while maintain the integrity of the lockdown, Dlamini Zuma said.

Arguably the biggest change in the new regulations is the inclusion of amendments which will allow certain individuals to move between provinces and, metropolitan and district areas for purposes of transporting a body for burial purposes.

The regulation now also outlines a process for persons who wish to travel between provinces, or between metropolitan and district areas to attend a burial or cremation to obtain a permit.

Permit holders may stay at a hotel, lodge or guest house for the duration of the funeral or cremation but the permit must be presented to the owner or manager of the hotel, lodge or guest house.

South Africans who live outside a province or metropolitan area will now also be allowed to attend a funeral, provided they are:

  • The spouse or partner of the deceased;
  • Children of the deceased, whether biological, adopted or stepchildren;
  • Children-in-law of the deceased;
  • Parents of the deceased whether biological, adopted or stepparents;
  • Siblings, whether biological, adopted or stepbrother or sister of the deceased;
  • Grandparents of the deceased;
  • Persons closely affiliated to the deceased.

On Friday (27 March), the Mpumalanga High Court heard an urgent application from a man who asked to be exempt from South Africa’s coronavirus lockdown regulations so that he may travel between provinces.

The man had been informed that his grandfather had tragically passed away in a fire at his home and he approached the courts to allow him to travel from Mpumalanga to the Eastern Cape for the funeral.

While the court expressed sympathy for the man, it noted that allowing him to travel between provinces would be in direct contradiction of South Africa’s lockdown regulations. The updated regulations now provide clarity on this and other similar cases.

You can read the full regulations below:

Cogta Regulations 2 April by BusinessTech on Scribd

Read: We will shut you down if you don’t follow the coronavirus rules: government

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South Africa relaxes coronavirus lockdown rules for funerals