UPDATE: Lockdown | Durban's promenade to open under 'strict conditions'

2020-05-02 09:59
The beachfront promenade in Durban.

The beachfront promenade in Durban. (Photo by Gallo Images/Darren Stuart)

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Update: Earlier on Saturday, the municipality said the promenade would remain closed to the public during Level 4 of the lockdown, citing public safety concerns. But a few hours later, the municipality said the promenade would be opened on Sunday after it was sanitised.

Durban's promenade will be open from Sunday, 3 May, but under strict conditions, according to the eThekwini municipality.

Earlier on Saturday, the municipality said the promenade would remain closed during Level 4 of the lockdown.

It later issued a statement saying the promenade would be opened after it was sanitised.

Friday marked the first day of the Level 4 lockdown and, in terms of slightly relaxed regulations, citizens were allowed to leave home to walk, run or cycle between 06:00 and 09:00, within a 5km radius of their homes, for the first time since 26 March.

But the municipality said it would not allow locals to use the promenade because the safety of residents came first. At the time, municipal spokesperson Mandla Nsele said deep cleaning first needed to take place.

"We are not going to take any chances. Everyone needs to be mindful of the fact that the city is the epicentre of this pandemic. We are going to embark on a deep-cleaning and sanitising operation of the entire facility before we open it to the public…. Yes, residents have been yearning for jogging and cycling on the promenade but we cannot dice with their lives," Nsele said

Later on Saturday, however, Nsele said the promenade would be opened from Sunday after it was sanitised.

"The eThekwini Municipality has from today (Saturday) began the process of sanitising and disinfecting the entire facility to ensure public safety. The promenade will be opened for public use tomorrow (Sunday) under very strict conditions, while other public spaces, including ablution facilities, remain closed until further notice.

According to the regulations, only residents who live within a 5km radius will be able to use the facility from 06:00 to 09:00.

Law enforcement officers will monitor all activities allowed under Level 4.

"Residents are encouraged to comply unceasingly with regulations of Level 4 of South Africa's Covid-19 lockdown by, among others, wearing masks and [practising] social distancing," he said. 

Despite speculation last weekend that the eThekwini metro would remain on a higher lockdown level, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala confirmed on Wednesday that it would downgrade to Level 4 with the rest of the country.

However, he warned that regulations would still be stringent.

"It means that all regulations that are still attached will be implemented strictly. It means in transport, we will look if they have masks and people are protected and there is social distancing," he previously told News24.

Read more on:    durban  |  health  |  lockdown  |  coronavirus
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