Government has begun introducing new regulations around South Africa’s ‘advanced level 3’ lockdown, with more set to be introduced in the coming weeks.
Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will move to an ‘advanced’ level 3 lockdown, with a number of business sectors reopened to the public.
Ramaphosa said that many businesses that stopped operating on 27 March when the lockdown first came into effect have not been able to operate.
Following discussions with industry representatives, provincial heads, scientists as well as cabinet, Ramaphosa said that restrictions will be eased for:
- Restaurants – allowing for sit-down meals;
- Accredited and licensed accommodation facilities (except Airbnb);
- Conferences and meetings for business purposes (in-line with safety guidelines);
- Cinemas and theatres;
- Personal care services including hairdressers;
- Non-contact sports including tennis, golf, cricket and others;
- Contact sports – only for training.
In each instance, specific and stringent safety requirements have been agreed to by the various representatives of these industries, Ramaphosa said.
Below are the regulations which have been introduced so far and the changes they will introduce.
Personal care services
On Friday, the Minister of Small Business Development gazetted a directive outlining the new guidelines for the personal care industry as part of South Africa’s revised level 3 lockdown rules.
The directive states that the following categories of services that are deemed safe to resume operations:
- Nail and toe treatment;
- Facial treatment and make-up;
- Body massage; and
- Tattooing and body piercing.
Law firm Webber Wentzel noted that the direction has been introduced to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in personal care services and it applies to employees and customers.
These protocols supplement the existing level 3 lockdown regulations and directions, particularly the directions issued by the Department of Employment & Labour and Department of Health.
The direction applies to personal care services that operate in the formal and informal sectors of the economy. All salons must comply with the following minimum health & safety standards:
- Hand washing;
- Social distancing between employees and customers;
- Use of cloth masks at all times (and more protective masks for close facial contact);
- Cleaning and disinfection of touch areas and equipment.
The direction also incorporates Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in a number of areas including:
- Handwashing or sanitizing (e.g. all customers must be provided with hand sanitizer or required to wash their hands prior to entering the premises)
- Cleaning of premises and equipment (e.g. premises must be cleaned before and after use)
- Personal garment and Personal Protective Equipment (e.g. stylists at salons must be a face/shield/visor that must be cleaned after serving each customer)
- Compliance (e.g. prior to treatment, customers should be provided with an explanation of applicable Covid-19 protocols)
- Access and booking (e.g. employees above the age of 60 or with co-morbidities must be discouraged from working)
- Work areas (e.g. work areas should be spaced at least 1.5 meters apart)
The Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies has also issued a revised Covid-19 direction for certain ICT sectors.
Webber Wentzel noted that the direction has been introduced to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in the communications and technologies sector.
- Health and safety rules around electronic communications services and electronic communications network services;
- Additional regulations for broadcasting services including online services, advertising agencies and film productions;
- Rules around postal services including courier services.
On Tuesday (23 June), the Department of Basic Education published a new directive focusing on the reopening of schools under South Africa’s lockdown.
The directive provides clarity on a number of my issues including:
- The return of pre-Grade R and Grade R learners;
- Provision for special needs learners;
- The holding of matric exams;
- The reopening of hostels;
- Provisions for learners that do not return to school.
Additional commentary by Kenneth Coster, Kirsten Eiser and Shane Johnson of law firm Webber Wentzel.