This is who is exempt from national lockdown — and what will be closed

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation from the Union Buildings on the government’s additional measures to contain the rapid spread of coronavirus.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation from the Union Buildings on the government’s additional measures to contain the rapid spread of coronavirus.
Image: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

As of Thursday March 26, the lives of many South Africans will be fundamentally changed.

This is after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown on Monday night. This step — which the president said was drastic but necessary — will see millions of South Africans restricted to their homes and many services being unavailable.

But some people and businesses will be exempt, including:

  • health workers in the public and private sectors;
  • emergency personnel;
  • those in security services — such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers — and other persons necessary for our response to the pandemic;
  • those involved in the production, distribution and supply of food and basic goods;
  • essential banking services;
  • the maintenance of power, water and telecommunications services;
  • laboratory services; and
  • those in the provision of medical and hygiene products.

Ramaphosa said a full list of essential personnel would be published soon.

All shops and businesses will be closed, expect for:

  • pharmacies;
  • laboratories;
  • banks;
  • essential financial and payment services, including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange;
  • supermarkets;
  • petrol stations; and
  • healthcare providers.

“Any other businesses that are able to continue their operations remotely should do so,” said Ramaphosa.


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