Cloth masks may become compulsory in SA post-lockdown

Business Insider SA
  • A draft proposal by the presidency may see that people be compelled to use a cloth mask when using any form of transport. 
  • The use of hand sanitisers before using any form of transport will also be required, while public transport will be allowed to operate at limited capacity. 
  • E-hailing services and the use of private vehicles will also be allowed, but inter-provincial travel will only be allowed at further stages of the reopening. 
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider's home page.

South Africans may be compelled to use cloth masks when using any form of transport when the national lockdown is set to lift at the end of April, according to a draft document by the presidency.

The draft document, widely circulated on social media shortly after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech on Tuesday evening, entitled a “risk-adjusted strategy for economic activity”, proposes a phased opening of South Africa’s economy. 

Business Insider South Africa has verified that the document was prepared by the presidency, but it has since been updated.

Read Fin24’s full coverage on the economic proposals of the document here.

Among the various proposals in the 27-page document, including the restriction of inter-provincial travel and the continued closure of hotels and restaurants, are that the use of cloth masks will become compulsory on all modes of transports. 

Hand sanitisers must also be made available, and all passengers will be required to sanitise their hands before using any form of transport. 

Public transport will be required to be sanitised every single day, and will be allowed to operate at limited capacity. 

The document allows for the use of e-hailing services such as Uber and Bolt, and private vehicles after the lockdown, but only at restricted times if there’s a high spread of the virus. 

The document proposes a five-stage economic reopening for South Africa, with provinces being allowed to be at different phases of opening up based on the spread of the virus and the capacity of health authorities. 

Movement in areas with a high infection rate, such Gauteng ,the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape, may remain restricted. 

The use of limited commuter rail will only be allowed at stage 3 of the proposed economic reopening, and movement of inter-provincial travel, including air travel, will only be allowed at the final two stages of the reopening. 

South Africa’s unprecedented month-long lockdown to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, and to help health authorities prepare, is set to end at the end of April. 

The lockdown forced most South Africans, apart from essential workers, to remain at home, and the closure of most South African businesses, except for essential services.  

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the Nation on Thursday on the measures the country will take for a phased reopening of the economy after the lockdown ends.

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