REUTERS – South Africa is considering introducing flexible restrictions on economic activity after it phases out a nationwide lockdown, according to a draft government presentation seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
An “alert system” comprising five levels would identify which sectors are allowed to operate under different risk scenarios and enable the government to alter restrictions swiftly for different parts of the country.
Africa’s most advanced economy last month imposed some of the world’s strictest measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial 21-day lockdown has already been extended by two weeks and is now due to expire on April 30.
The draft presentation, which was put together by the presidency and health ministry, said evidence indicated the lockdown had successfully limited the disease’s spread.
“However, there are serious risks associated with lifting lockdown restrictions too soon, or in an unsystematic and disorderly manner,” it stated.
Sit-in restaurants, hotels, bars, conference centres, cinemas, sporting events and religious gatherings will remain shut after the lockdown ends, regardless of the risk level, the document said. This will be bad news for many Zimbabweans as they are employed in the sectors that will remain shut. No gatherings of more than 10 people outside of a workplace will be permitted.