Since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide shutdown last night [March 23], many South Africans have been scratching their heads wondering what exactly the 21 days spent at home really means.

If you are confused as to what is allowed or not allowed during these trying times, here are a few points to better explain the lockdown.

The lockdown will commence from midnight on Thursday, March 26 until Thursday, April 16 at midnight.

1. Who remains at work?

Only those involved in essential services will be allowed to leave their homes for work.

These include health care professionals, banking staff, supermarket employees and those involved in providing petrol to the public.

2. What is allowed under lockdown?

Residents will be allowed to leave their homes only if it is completely essential.

You may seek medical care, buy groceries, visit a pharmacy, access banking services, fill up on petrol or collect a social grant.

When leaving home, all members of the community are urged to be safe. Keep a good distance from one another and practice not touching your face. Remember to sanitise your hands once home and before leaving as well as to wear a mask in public if you are sick.

3. What to do in the case of an emergency

All emergency services will continue to operate as usual. In the event of an emergency, residents can react as they would if there weren’t a shutdown.

However, it is essential to keep hygiene and social distancing in mind even in these incidents.

4. Should you do additional shopping before the lockdown?

It is not necessary to stock up on groceries unless you would like to reduce your trips outside of home.

All stores will remain open throughout the lockdown so residents will always have access to what they need. There is no need to panic buy.

5. Can you go to work?

Only workers involved in essential services will be allowed to leave their homes for work.

Other members of society are asked to work from home if they can or to stay home from work for the next 21 days.

Also read:

President Ramaphosa announces nationwide lockdown for 21 days

Tips for staying sane during self-quarantine


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