South Africa eased lockdown restrictions from May 1 as part of the country’s approach in dealing with the coronavirus spread. According to Dr Zweli Mkhize, South Africa’s Minister of Health, the government has so far succeeded in pushing back the peak with the measures put in place and “flattened the curve”.  Around 1.5 million workers in selected industries are to return to work under strict health conditions, it is claimed. The terms of the proposed lockdown policy, published on April 25, say that workers from the automotive, chemicals, footwear and textile manufacturing sectors will be allowed to return to work, with these sectors scaling up in phases to 100% employment, while some other manufacturing sectors are to scale up in phases to 50% employment. As far as retail is concerned, and in addition to what is already being sold, businesses will be able to sell all clothing, home textiles and footwear articles, as well as automotive.

“Should the country avoid a sharp increase in the levels of infections with the return to work of large numbers of workers and expanded testing and healthcare facilities, the economy could shift to Level 3 as soon as possible”, said Ebrahim Patel, South Africa’s Trade Minister. “The country does not need to stay at Level 4 for a specific number of weeks but can move rapidly to a lower level should risks be mitigated.” The South African government has also eased restrictions for domestic air travel, with a limited number of flights daily. The authorisation for travel is to be justified and subject to the ports of entry arrangements.

Source: Business Tech