GEORGE NEWS - There is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the practical implications of the lockdown that comes into effect at midnight tonight, Thursday 26 March. It will end at midnight on Thursday 16 April.
As the process unfolds and Government is figuring out and making decisions on the nitty gritty stuff, the appeal to the public is to act in accordance with the primary aim of the lockdown - to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Western Cape Government said it is awaiting the various new regulations to answer the myriad of questions citizens ask regarding some practical implications of the lockdown.
The straightforward starting point is, everyone stays at home, within the following framework:
Don't leave your home except to seek medical care, buy food, medicine and other essential supplies, or collect a social grant.
Exempted from the lockdown are health care workers, emergency personnel, those in security services (police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers and other persons necessary for the response to the pandemic.
Also exempted from lockdown: Those involved in the production, distribution and supply of food and basic goods (spaza shops to remain open), essential banking services, the maintenance of power, water and telecommunications services, laboratory services, and the provision of medical and hygiene products.
All shops and businesses not essential to the exempted services will be closed.
The following will remain operational:
- Health care providers [hospitals, clinics, doctors, pharmacies, laboratories, veterinarians], banks, essential financial and payment services [including the JSE], supermarkets and petrol stations.
- Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open. Farmers will continue production and will be allowed to attend auctions.
- Firms that are able to continue their operations remotely will continue operations.
- The SA Post Office will remain open.
- Essential transport services will continue [it is still unclear if all courier companies will be allowed to operate, which would allow people to do online shopping].
All grants will continue to be paid. Old age pensions and disability grants will be available for collection from 30 and 31 March, while other categories of grants will be available for collection from 1 April.
All channels for access remain open, including ATMs, retail point of sale devices, post offices and cash pay points.
Community health care workers will help deliver chronic medication to reduce queueing and crowding in health facilities.
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