Coronavirus News Africa

EXPLAINER | Here are all the businesses Ramaphosa announced will be allowed to reopen

President Cyril Ramaphosa during a previous address to the nation.

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday evening sit-in restaurants and hair salons, among others, will be allowed to reopen. 
  • He said the reopening will be under strict conditions, and the exact dates for their reopening will be communicated in the coming days. 
  • Here is all you need to know about the additional businesses that will reopen under the Level 3 lockdown. 

In an address on Wednesday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced hair salons and restaurants, among others, will be allowed to reopen during the Level 3 lockdown.

Ramaphosa said further announcements would be made in the coming days indicating the date from which these activities would be permitted.

LIVE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates

He added the Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected and disrupted the livelihoods of millions of people, and these industries reopening was part of the state’s plan to save lives and livelihoods.

Here is all you need to know about the additional businesses that may reopen under the Level 3 lockdown:

What are the businesses that may reopen? 

When Ramaphosa announced the country would be moving to Level 3 from 1 June, he said the state would give consideration to reopening other sectors of the economy if the necessary safety precautions were put in place and maintained.

He therefore said, following discussions with industry representatives on stringent prevention protocols and after advice from scientists, the following industries would be allowed to reopen: 

  • Restaurants for sit-down meals.
  • Accredited and licenced accommodation with the exception of home-sharing accommodation like Airbnbs.
  • Conferences and meetings for business purposes in line with restrictions on public gatherings.
  • Cinemas and theatres to be aligned to limitations on the gathering of people.
  • Casinos.
  • Personal care services, including hairdressers and beauty services.
  • Non-contact sports such as golf, tennis, cricket and others. Contact sports will be allowed only for training and modified activities with restricted use of facilities.

Why are the businesses reopening? 

Ramaphosa said as many people might be aware, many businesses that stopped operating on 27 March, when the lockdown came into effect, have not yet been able to reopen under current restrictions.

He added these included both large companies with thousands of employees and smaller ones. 

This meant there were businesses that have not earned any revenue and individuals who have not had any income for more than 80 days, Ramaphosa said. 

“Even with the measures we put in place to support companies, employees and poor households as part of the R500 billion relief package, there is a limit to how long these businesses can be closed.”

He added it was particularly important for the state to open up personal care services because the industry predominantly employed and were owned by women. 

“The last three months have been particularly difficult for the millions of women who work as hairdressers, in spas, as therapists and technicians. 

“Giving women the necessary support to become financially independent is the greatest of priorities, especially now.” 

Under which circumstances will these businesses be allowed to reopen? 

Ramaphosa said in each instance of reopening, specific and stringent safety requirements have been agreed on and would need to be put in place before a business could reopen, and protocols would need to be strictly adhered to for businesses to remain open.

He added the decision to reopen had been made taking due care and seriousness, appreciating the risks associated with each activity and the measures needed to manage those risks.

FULL SPEECH | Ramaphosa announces new changes to Level 3

However, Ramaphosa said these industries employed more than 500 000 people before the lockdown.

“We have had to think about these people and those who depend on them for their livelihoods. 

“Through the easing of the lockdown, we are continuing to balance our overriding objective of saving lives and preserving livelihoods.”

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