Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has announced that all South African restaurants and takeaway businesses will be closed during South Africa’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown.
Kubayi-Ngubane released a statement addressed to the restaurant industry which stated that restaurants, bars, cafes, and coffee shops were not on the list of essential services.
Subsequently, these businesses will not be allowed to operate and must be closed during the lockdown period.
“In addition, in compliance with the nationwide lockdown all food delivery services will also need to be suspended for 21 days with effect from midnight, 26 March 2020 until midnight Thursday, 16 April 2020,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.
Emergency services, security services, and other essentials services workers will be allowed to continue with their work, along with those involved in the production and supply of food and basic goods. This includes stores which sell food.
Up to 554 confirmed cases
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Tuesday 24 March that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa had risen to 554.
Mkhize said that two patients were in critical condition in ICU in private hospitals and most of the new cases were in Johannesburg, with 302 of the total cases reported in Gauteng.
“We expect these numbers to increase over the next week,” Mkhize said, adding that South Africans must not be shocked if they see the number of confirmed cases continue to climb.
“It will take a couple of weeks [of lockdown] to turn things around,” he said.
South Africa’s 21-day lockdown period will take effect after 23:59 on Thursday 26 March 2020 and will end on 16 April.
All South Africans must stay at home during the lockdown and SA military forces will be deployed along with the police to ensure these restrictions are enforced.
In addition to supermarkets and basic goods retailers, companies in the energy provision, medical supply, laboratory, essential transport – including petrol stations – and essential financial services sectors will also continue to operate.
— Dept of Tourism (@Tourism_gov_za) March 24, 2020