Minister of Police Bheki Cele has stated that South Africans will not be allowed to take their dogs out for a walk during the 21-day nationwide lockdown, which will be implemented to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
“There shall be no food at restaurants. There is no need to be on the road. There is no need to move around. There was a little bit of a story earlier on that you can walk your dogs. There shall be no dogs that will be walked,” said Cele.
He added that if people wanted to walk their dogs, they could do so around their house.
Buying and transporting alcohol has also been prohibited, said Cele.
“The movement of alcohol or liquor can be restricted. There shall be no movement of liquor. If we find liquor in your boot, that is illegal,” said Cele.
“For 21 days, please stay sober.”
The statement from Cele follows Health Minister Zweli Mkhize stating that people can walk or exercise in the street during the 21-day lockdown.
“You can take a walk, you can walk with your dog, you can jog, but you must do it alone or with a good distance between you,” Mkhize said.
Cele reinforced that the following places will be closed to the public during the lockdown.
- Religious, cultural, sporting, entertaining, and recreational premises.
- Public parks.
- Nightclubs and casinos.
- Liquor sections in supermarkets.
- Shopping centres – except where supermarkets are present.
The lockdown will last for 21 days from midnight on Thursday, 26 March until 16 April.
All international and domestic flights will also be stopped, regardless of destination, said the government.
Essential cargo will still be allowed through South Africa’s ports, however. Cargo from high-risk countries will be sanitised.
Metered taxis and e-haling services – such as Uber – will be allowed to transport essential services workers. They will be allowed to operate from 05:00 to 09:00, and from 16:00 to 20:00.
Ramaphosa announced the 21-day nationwide lockdown in an address to citizens on Monday evening.
The president said swift action was needed to prevent a catastrophe in the country, referring to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
All South Africans must stay at home during the lockdown, he said, except for those involved in the provision of essential services.
South Africans would only be allowed to leave their homes to buy food and medicine, to seek medical attention, and to collect a social grant, stated Ramaphosa at the time.
Ramaphosa said businesses which do not provide essential services must also close during this time.
“Staying at home is the preferred best defence against the virus,” he said.