Lockdown Level 3: What to do when you head back to work next week

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Although it’s no time to celebrate, the country will move to Level 3 of lockdown on the 1st of June. This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national address late on Sunday evening. What does it mean though? We’re here to unpack some of the details about Level 3, whether you’re going back to work and how to prepare yourself. 

Pres Ramaphosa said that Level 3 will bring even more industries economic relief in that it’ll be allowed to open to the public again. This is in a bid to bolster an economy that has been struggling throughout the lockdown period, and it’s a welcome change.

The easing of lockdown restrictions will happen in a ‘differentiated approach’, especially in hotspots which have more than five active cases per 100,000 members of the population. On this point, the president is especially concerned about the Western Cape, which has recorded the bulk of South Africa’s cases. The province is currently standing at 14,740 active cases and 43 deaths. 

Hotspots will be reviewed every two weeks, after which any part can suddenly backtrack to levels 4 or 5 if the government feels it’s needed. But for now, we can enjoy the fact that the whole country is continuing to Level 3, in which all areas of the economy will be allowed to reopen from 1 June. Some businesses may need to open to 100% capacity, while others will be phased in, but it’s possible most people will need to go back to work, if the company has the need for on-site personnel. 

The list of prohibited businesses include:

  • Restaurants, bars and pubs – except for the delivery and collection of food;
  • Accommodation and air travel – except for business, where announcements will be made at a later date;
  • Conferences, events, entertainment and sporting activities;
  • Personal care, like hairdressing and beauty services.

Get ready for work

If you’re going back to work, there are a few guidelines on keeping as safe as possible when interacting with people and travelling. 

Make sure to wear a mask at all times during the day. When in your car, going to the shops and sitting in the office. In the office, workers need to keep at least two meters from co-workers by adhering to strict social distancing measures. Also, make sure to keep work areas sanitised by cleaning equipment and desks with antibacterial soap or disinfectant on a daily basis. 

“Now it is time for most of us to return to work and to resume parts of our lives that have been on hold since the lockdown began. However, I want to emphasise that the easing of some restrictions does not mean that the threat posed by the coronavirus has passed or that our fight against the disease is over,” the president detailed in his address.

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