Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: On April 9, South Africa extended nationwide lockdown until April 30 to stem spread of COVID-19. Further preventive measures remain likely.

This alert affects South Africa

This alert began 09 Apr 2020 20:51 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Preventative restrictions
  • Affected Area(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Date: April 9
  • Impact: Significant business and travel disruptions; entry restrictions; increased security

Summary
Authorities in South Africa extended the existing nationwide lockdown through at least April 30 as part of their efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities reiterated that existing lockdown measures will remain in force.

Previous enacted lockdown measures include:

  • All residents to remain in their homes, unless obtaining or providing essential goods or services, or seeking medical help or emergency assistance;
  • All businesses or other legal entities to close, unless involved in manufacturing, supplying, or providing essential goods or services;
  • All retail businesses to close, unless involved in the sale of essential goods or services;
  • Public gatherings prohibited, with the exception of funerals;
  • Movement between provinces, cities, and districts within South Africa prohibited;
  • All international borders closed, except for the transport of fuel and essential goods;
  • All commuter transport services (rail, bus, taxi, ride-hailing, maritime, and air) suspended, except as needed to provide essential services and goods, in which case the number of passengers cannot exceed 50 percent of the vehicle's passenger capacity.


Persons violating the lockdown regulation may be subject to fines and/or incarceration for up to six months.

South African authorities previously declared a national state of disaster on March 15. Authorities introduced various measures, including the closure of the borders and schools, prohibit gatherings, and suspension of South African Airways (SA). Authorities could announce additional restrictions measures based on disease activity throughout the country.

Background and Analysis
South Africa's travel restrictions and preventive measures correspond with similar actions other governments are taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Heed all official advisories and remain nonconfrontational if stopped by authorities. Reconfirm all travel arrangements if traveling to, from or via South Africa. Shipping disruptions may occur; consider delaying or rerouting shipments. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
South Africa Health Department: http://www.health.gov.za

South African Airways: https://www.flysaa.com

South African Government Gazette of March 25, 2020: live.southafrica.net