Cinephiles will be pleased to hear that Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel is considering reopening cinemas.
The consideration is listed among others in newly gazetted regulation amendments, and also contains amendments for earlier directives dictating which kinds of clothing may be sold at stores during lockdown.
Patel has also eased restrictions on some medications, which required permits to procure. This move was made to allow government ease of access to medications in the fight against COVID-19.
“Furthermore, regulations related to export controls have been amended and simplified,” Patel said in a statement. “This means a number of categories of medication (set out at 8-digit level), will no longer require export permits under the Covid-19 export control regime. In addition, these medicines deemed critical in the fight against Covid-19 will no longer require export permits when exporting to SACU [the Southern African Customs Union] or for clinical trial. In addition, following consultations with the Competition Commission, regulations pertaining to the Covid-19 block exemption for the retail property sector have been amended to include the cinema exhibition industry.”
“The regulations are aimed at exempting certain conduct between designated retail tenants and the retail property sector, to promote concerted conduct to prevent an escalation of the national disaster,” he added.
Patel also said that the cinema industry asked him to intervene as it had faced hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In terms of the disaster management regulations, theatres and cinemas must remain closed to the public and all gatherings at these places or premises are prohibited during alert level 3,” the gazette said. “The department has received representation from stakeholders in the cinema exhibition industry on the safe reopening of the sector, and is engaging in a process with stakeholders and the national department of health to determine the appropriate protocols for reopening of the sector.”
“The sector has experienced hardships and requested that consideration be given to its inclusion in the above-named exemption. The Covid-19 block exemption for the retail property sector is therefore extended to the cinema exhibition industry during this period.”