Coronavirus: National state of disaster takes effect with publishing of gazetted regulations

2020-03-18 21:45

The government has made the national state of disaster official, having gazetted the regulations that will oversee the implementation of these measures.

The regulations, signed off by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, concern all government departments and their responsibilities to curb the spread of Covid-19.

DOWNLOAD | Have a look at all the regulations

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national state of disaster on Sunday as the number of positive cases in South Africa grew. On Wednesday, positive cases stood at 116.

While ministers have already announced their responsibilities and plans for this period of national disaster to curb the spread of Covid-19, there are some new regulations that have been published in the gazette.

The regulations place a cap on the sale and transportation of liquor, shutting down facilities which sell liquor with immediate effect or limiting customers to no more than 50, provided the space is adequate and hygienic.

Liquor licenses may not be considered during this period and facilities selling liquor will be forced to close at 18:00 on weekdays and Saturdays, and 13:00 on Sundays.


It also places the responsibility on South Africans to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

This includes making it a crime to intentionally expose another person to the virus. They may be charged with assault, attempted murder or murder.

Those who misrepresent that they or any other person is infected with Covid-19 would be liable to a fine or a six-month jail term.

It also criminalises the refusal to be tested, admitted to hospital or quarantined.

The regulations compel government departments to provide any resources they can to fight Covid-19. For example, it instructs the Department of Defence to use its equipment, facilities and personnel to combat the virus.

Finally, the regulations make the spread of fake news a crime. It may result in a fine, six-month prison sentence or both for anyone who purposefully shares or creates fake news.

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Read more on:    coronavirus  |  health

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