Alertes de sécurité

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26 avr. 2020 | 03h45 UTC

South Africa: Mandatory wearing of masks under partial easing of restrictions from May 1 /update 12

South Africa Alerte de sécurité

Wearing of masks in public to be compulsory under new regulations partially lifting lockdown from May 1; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 26/4/2020, 12h00 until 22/5/2020, 11h59 (Africa/Johannesburg). COUNTRY/REGION South Africa

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The wearing of face masks in public will be mandatory under new regulations from Friday, May 1, as South Africa moves from Level 5 lockdown measures down to Level 4. Other measures included under Level 4 will be a curfew from 20:00 to 05:00 (local time), a ban on travel across provincial borders without proof of employment or for other essential purposes, a limit of three people per private vehicle, and taxis must operate at 70 percent capacity or below. Restaurants will only be allowed to provide delivery services and some retailers can reopen, including clothes shops, hardware stores, and wholesalers. The agricultural sector will be permitted to resume full operations and mining can partially resume. Businesses resuming operations will have to comply with certain health regulations, such as set workforce capacities, providing hand sanitizers, and ensuring social distance is maintained.

Other restrictions implemented in the lockdown that was introduced on Friday, March 27, will remain. International travel will continue to be suspended, citizens are only allowed to leave their homes for essential needs, and social distancing orders will need to be respected. Gyms, hairdressers, bars, liquor stores, and other businesses remain closed and gatherings in groups will still be prohibited. A further announcement on when educational institutions will reopen is expected on Monday, April 27.

On Wednesday, April 22, President Ramaphosa announced plans to deploy 73,180 additional troops to assist in efforts to enforce the nationwide lockdown. The additional troops will be deployed until Friday, June 26, to assist existing security personnel who have struggled to keep residents indoors and stop the illegal sale of alcohol.

As of Sunday, April 26, 4361 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country and 86 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia. 


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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