On Sunday evening, 15 March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the country around the measures that need to be taken to try and stem the COVID-19 pandemic. We have summarised the key points that were made and have listed them below:
- COVID-19 has been declared as the National State of Disaster, with the internal transmission occurring throughout the country.
- A travel ban from high-risk countries has been announced and includes countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and China, as of 18 March 2020. With that being said, people that have travelled to high-risk countries during February, are required to go for testing.
- South Africans returning home from high-risk countries are required to self-quarantine.
- South Africa has 72 ports of entry through land, sea and airport, of which 35 land ports have been shut down. Two seaports have been closed for passengers and non-essential travel and domestic travel has to be stopped.
- Limits to group gatherings have been put in place. Gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited and all mass celebrations during public holidays are to be cancelled. Organisers of events are advised to put stringent measures in place and ensure that they are events for less than 100 people.
- All schools will be closed from Wednesday, 18 March 2020, and will remain closed until after Easter.
- Tertiary institutions are to be consulted for more information regarding the process going forward. A number of universities and colleges have announced that all contact classes will be suspended until further notice.
- Businesses, especially in the mining, retail banking and farming sectors, are advised to introduce measures for hygiene control. Shopping malls, centres and entertainment centres are encouraged to bolster their hygiene control.
- As a country, we have been advised to change our behaviour, by washing our hands and sanitise frequently and to avoid close contact with anyone that may have flu-symptoms, by minimising physical contact.
We will ensure we keep everyone updated, should any further developments occur.