The South African Police Service has warned residents in private security estates and complexes that the restrictions on going outside for a jog or to walk their dogs applies to them too.
The country entered into a 21-day lockdown on Friday (27 March) to combat the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in South Africa, which is currently expected to end midnight on 16 April.
Following the announcement of the lockdown, there was initial confusion over whether people would be allowed out their homes to walk the dog or get some exercise, as has been allowed in several other countries with lockdowns in effect.
Initially, the message from the Department of Health was that this “should be fine” – however, government quickly backtracked on this as it caused further confusion about the limits and restrictions during the lockdown.
To avoid all this debate, and to ensure the lockdown’s goal of limiting the movement of people and thus the spread of the coroanvirus in the country, no one is allowed off their property except for the essentials, ie, getting food, medical care or medicines.
Essential workers are exempt.
However, despite the clear directive, those living in security estates and complexes have continued to make use of the private communal space for both exercise and to walk their dogs.
The SAPS has clarified that the regulations apply across the board, and called on estate and complex managers to enforce them.
“Following several enquiries about residents being able to walk or jog within their security estates/complexes. The Regulations also apply to people living within estates/complexes – meaning no walking, jogging or walking of pets within closed estates/complexes is allowed,” it said.
“All estate/complex managers must assist by ensuring that these regulations are enforced with immediate effect. The fundamental purpose of lockdown is to drastically reduce the movement of people in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Your assistance in this regard will be highly appreciated.”