Johannesburg – President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africans will go into a phased approach to easing lockdown restrictions from May 1.
Ramaphosa addressed the country on Thursday night and explained that the national command council had decided on an easing approach to ending the lockdown which will result in economic activity resuming slowly. The national lockdown will end on April 30 after five weeks.
There will be five levels to the phasing out approach. South Africa is currently on level five with a tight-lockdown which restriction on high with only essential services allowed to operate.
From May 1, the country will go into level four which will mean that some economic activity will resume. On which sectors will be allowed to operate, the president said ministers responsible for various clusters will outline the division of sectors.
Ramaphosa explained that easing of restrictions will be informed by health advise from professional scientists. He said it was about measuring the spread of the virus and the need to open up the economy.
He acknowledges that scientists had advised that opening up the economy should be gradual as a complete unmeasured opening up will affect the rate of infections.
The phased approach will also include levels three, two and one. Movement on level four will be largely restricted. No movement between provinces will be allowed and international travel will be banned. Public transport will be largely monitored with extreme hygiene protocol.
The country has recorded 3953 cases of the virus with 75 deaths and 1474 people have recovered.
By Zintle Mahlati