New lockdown rules for South African ISPs

Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has published new regulations governing the safety measure couriers, postal services, network providers, and film and TV productions must implement to curb the spread of Covid-19.

These include regulations on how network operators and Internet service providers must handle imported equipment, additional regulations for their retail stores, and rules for technicians that work at client premises.

The regulations were published in the Government Gazette on Wednesday and will apply to lockdown alert levels 3, 4, and 5.

These are in addition to any health protocols and social distancing measures already specified in South Africa’s disaster management regulations for the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the network services value chain, the following additional rules apply:

  • All containers and shipments must, on arrival, be sanitised before handover.
  • All electronic communications facilities, equipment, and materials must be sanitised more than once daily, including at the warehouse.
  • All products must be sanitised before being packaged for consumers.
  • All staff must be thermal scanned daily and must sanitise throughout the day.
  • All staff must be equipped with face masks.
  • All staff must maintain adequate floor space, queuing distance and physical distancing, as prescribed in the regulations.

Retail and franchised stores of network operators and service providers must adhere to the following additional rules:

  • Staff must ensure adequate floor space, queuing distance and physical distancing.
  • Staff must, where possible, work in shifts with some staff members working from home to assist or call customers remotely.
  • There must be a one customer per consultant ratio, in addition to general social distancing requirements.
  • All customers and staff must sanitise before entering the store.
  • All customers and staff must wear face masks.
  • Staff must be screened.
  • Perspex dividers must be installed in stores.
  • There must be clear signage in stores highlighting health protocols and ensuring compliance with social distancing requirements.

The rules following apply to technicians who perform on-site installation, maintenance, and repairs:

  • Technicians must be thermal scanned daily and must sanitise throughout the day.
  • All equipment and materials must be sanitised more than once a day.
  • Technicians must be equipped with masks.
  • Technicians must keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from the customer when installing or repairing end-user and subscriber equipment.

Now read: Ster-Kinekor drive-ins forced to close in lockdown level 4

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New lockdown rules for South African ISPs