UPDATED: CORONAVIRUS FAQs | All your questions answered

 (Photo by Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle)
(Photo by Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle)

The South African Legal Information Institute has a comprehensive list of all Covid-19 related government documents here. 

View a list of what will be allowed under lockdown level 4 here.

View our Covid-19 Money Hub for news and advice on how to manage your money in the time of coronavirus

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30 April 11:24

Do you have a question about your money or business?

The Covid-19 Money Hub will help answer your business and money questions and explore the financial help available to you during the coronavirus crisis.
<strong>Do you have a question about your money or business?<br /><br /></strong>The Covid-19 Money Hub will help answer your&nbsp;business&nbsp;and&nbsp;money&nbsp;questions and explore the financial help available to you during the coronavirus crisis.<br />
Visit our Covid-19 Money Hub here

30 April 11:17

QUESTION: Can I move house under level 4?

No, you may not. The latest regulations, gazetted on Wednesday, include strict restrictions on the movement of South Africans - and the exceptions don't include moving house.

Read more here

30 April 07:37

QUESTION: What business are allowed to be open?
Click here for the full list

30 April 07:35

QUESTION: What can I buy from a retailer, wholesaler or spaza shop?

Items for sale include:

- Any food product, including non-alcoholic beverages and animal food. The in-store sale of cooked hot food is still prohibited
- All children's clothing
- Winter clothing for adults
- Bedding
- Personal ICT equipment including computers, mobile telephones and other home office equipment.

Get the full list here

30 April 07:30

QUESTION: Can children can move between parents?

Yes. Children can move between divorced parents if they are in the same city or municipalities, provided they have a court order, a parenting plan (registered with the family advocate) or a permit issued by a magistrate.

30 April 07:28

QUESTION: Are there new rules in place for companies going back to work?

Yes. South Africa now has official requirements for companies going back to work while the Covid-19 state of disaster is still in place. 

Get the details here

30 April 07:26

QUESTION: Can I replace my ID now?

Yes. This is now allowed, and the deeds office as well as other licensing and permitting will now be open along with the provision of birth and death certificates.

30 April 07:21

QUESTION: Can I move between provinces, metropolitan and district areas?

Only under strict conditions. 

"Any person who was not at their place of residence or work before the lockdown period and who could not travel between provinces, metropolitan and district areas during the lockdown, will be permitted, on a once-off basis, to return to their places of residence or work and will be required to stay in such place until the end of level 4," the regulations read.

Otherwise, there will be no movement across provincial borders allowed.

30 April 07:16

QUESTION: Do I have to wear a mask in public?

Yes, masks are obligatory. Everyone has to wear cloth face masks outside their homes. If you don't yet have a cloth mask, you can wear a scarf or a t-shirt wrapped around your mouth and nose, says Dlamini-Zuma. 

30 April 07:10

QUESTION: Is there a curfew?

Yes. People are not allowed out between 20:00 and 05:00.

30 April 07:09

QUESTION: Can you go to your hairdresser or nail salon?

No. Minister of trade and industry Ebrahim Patel said the risk of transmission with these services is too high.

30 April 07:08

QUESTION: Can domestic workers start working again?

Live-in domestic staff and childminders in private households can return to work as part of Level 4 of the national lockdown. 

Staff employed by private households who care for the sick, mentally ill, elderly and people with disabilities will also be allowed to work, according to new regulations.

Read more

30 April 07:05

QUESTION: Are cigarettes for sale?

No. Initially government had proposed that the sale of cigarettes would be allowed at level four, but government had received submissions from the public opposing it on the grounds that it posed a health risk, Dlamini-Zuma said. "Besides the effects of tobacco on lungs and the way tobacco is shared, it does not allow for social distancing and encourages the spread of the virus."

Read more here

30 April 07:02

QUESTION: Is alcohol on sale?


30 April 07:01

QUESTION: Are restaurants open yet?

The sale of takeaways will be permitted for delivery only - from fast food outlets and restaurants. 

Restaurants can open for food delivery services only, and only between 09:00 to 19:00. 

30 April 06:58

QUESTION: Can I visit my friends and family?

No "recreational" visits are allowed.

30 April 06:57

QUESTION: Can I exercise?

South Africans can run, cycle and walk, but only within a 5km radius from their homes between 06:00 and 09:00. 

More of your lockdown exercise questions answered here

23 April 07:27

QUESTION: What could happen after lockdown? Stay-away threat, and medical masks worries

According to a leaked draft document, there could still be restrictions after lockdown, even if some rules are relaxed; union representing 15 000 nurses threatens a mass stayaway; and concerns over medical masks stocks.


21 April 11:05

QUESTION: Could a measles vaccine help in the fight against Covid-19?

Months into the pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a list of 70 vaccine candidates, with three of those already in the first phases of clinical evaluation.

In one of these efforts, France’s Pasteur Institute is working on making use of a modified measles vaccine to trick the body into producing antibodies against the new coronavirus, according to a report.

The Pasteur Institute is renowned for their fight against infectious diseases, having come up with remedies against a number of diseases, including typhoid fever, tuberculosis, yellow fever and HIV.


21 April 10:42

QUESTION: Is it legal to ban alcohol sales?

Yes. The Disaster Management Act explicitly states that the sale of alcohol can also be suspended or limited once a state of disaster has been declared.

Government has warned South Africans that alcohol weakens the immune system.

Fact-checking organisation Africa Check has found that this is indeed the case. Africa Check confirmed with several experts, who cited extensive research, that alcohol affects the immune system, weakening the body's defence against respiratory infections and that long-term alcohol misuse makes people vulnerable to respiratory infections.

The research further shows that most South Africans who use alcohol are binge drinkers. There also is some evidence that moderate alcohol consumption is harmless in specific circumstances, but the available research is not clear on how much alcohol a person can consume without damaging their immune system.


21 April 10:34

QUESTION: Can newborns be registered on medical aids without birth certificates?

Yes. News24 spoke to representatives from three major private medical aid providers to find out how registering newborns as dependants works. A birth certificate is not needed - the hospital will provide proof of birth to your medical aid. 


21 April 10:02

QUESTION: Do separated/divorced parents have visitation rights?

Yes. Separated or divorced parents, who have shared custody of their child or children, will now have visitation rights if they have a court order or birth certificate, the amended regulations of the nationwide lockdown state. 


30 March 08:49

QUESTION: Who can I call if I have a complaint against the police?

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has issued emergency numbers for complaints against the police during the Covid-19 lockdown. IPID's services are still ongoing during the lockdown, spokesperson Sontaga Seisa said.

A limited number of investigators are on standby in all nine provinces, and provincial management will ensure that their work continues. 

The numbers to lay a complaint against the police are: 

Eastern Cape: 082 592 9888;

Free State: 063 225 6081;

Gauteng: 076 455 5718;

Limpopo: 078 871 4811;

KwaZulu-Natal: 079 895 2741;

Mpumalanga: 072 881 4196;

Northern Cape:  064 624 8203;

North West: 078 163 6874;

Western Cape: 073 890 1269. 


27 March 08:10

QUESTION: What if I can't pay my rent during lockdown?

In this unprecedented situation, it is natural that certain tenants will look to their landlords for assistance. The landlord’s position is, however, precarious, despite a popular misconception that landlords hold unlimited funds or can afford to withstand non-payment of rentals.

The below information serves as a guide for tenants and landlords in these challenging times. One must regard the entire contents of this article to understand the legal position and, with understanding of the other side’s position, hopefully reach an amicable resolution to protect the symbiotic relationship between landlord and tenant.

Read the full story here

27 March 08:08

QUESTION: Are there certain hours that we can go to the shops, doctor, etc?

No, you may go whenever these services are open, but please limit these trips to as few as possible.

26 March 18:55

QUESTION: Can I take my pet to the vet?

Essential and emergency travel is expected to be specifically allowed during the lockdown, in general terms.

On Tuesday the government confirmed that veterinary services will continue to operate.

Necessary trips for pet food are also likely to be covered under rules around buying groceries.

26 March 18:53

QUESTION: My company has to close down. Can I claim back?

Employees at companies that have to close their doors during lockdown may receive payments from government under a new scheme.

The amounts paid will be a percentage of your salary, according to a legislated sliding scale from 38% (highest earners) to 60% (lowest earners).

Read more here

26 March 13:40

QUESTION: How UIF money will help workers during lockdown?

As anxious South African workers, who are facing layoffs and loss of income during the lockdown period, await guidance on government help during this time, there is now an indication of how the Unemployment Insurance Fund will help pay their salaries.

Read more here

26 March 12:46

QUESTION: How do I register my business as an essential service?

South African businesses are now able to apply online and automatically download a certificate to prove they are essential service providers, as the country gears up to implement a 21-day national lockdown. 

Full details here

26 March 09:18

26 March 07:47

QUESTION: Do I need to produce a document to obtain essential goods such as food and medical supplies?

You do not need a special document to leave your home to acquire basic goods, Chrispin Phiri, spokesperson of the Government Communication and Information System, confirmed to News24. 

Read more

26 March 07:45

QUESTION: Can I drive my car during lockdown?

Private motor vehicles may be used only for purposes of rendering essential services, obtaining essential goods, seeking medical attention, funeral services and to receive payment of grants.

This is provided that such vehicle carries no more than 50% of the licensed capacity and all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and the limitation of exposure of persons to Covid-19 are adhered to.

26 March 06:43

QUESTION: Will rubbish still be collected?

Yes. Refuse collection is considered essential work under the lockdown. Municipalities have also been directed to focus on extraordinary cleansing and sanitation of public facilities.

26 March 06:33

QUESTION: How do I know if I am an essential worker? What documents do I need?

The full list of essential workers is listed at the link below (page 10). The form is on page 11 and 12. 

Click here

25 March 21:25

LIST | The dos and don'ts during the national lockdown

Police Minister Bheki Cele has warned any person who contravenes the regulations of the nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday will be guilty of a criminal offence and will be liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both.

News24 has compiled a list of what you can and cannot do.

25 March 20:38

QUESTION: What will I be able to buy during lockdown?

Stores will be expected to stick to basic goods. Government’s list of essential goods includes toilet paper, hand sanitiser, all-purpose cleaners, baby formula, disposable nappies, cooking oils, wheat flour, rice, maize meal, pasta, sugar, long-life milk as well canned and frozen vegetables and meat.

Read more here

25 March 20:25

QUESTION: Can I walk/jog/cycle outdoors?

The short answer is no. While government have yet to officially comment on this, the main directive of the lockdown remains the same: only leave home to undertake essential trips such as to get food, seek medical care or access supplies.

Outdoor workouts do not fall under the list of essential movements. 

You can view the list here. (Page 6, 11B)

25 March 18:35

Please note: You can view the Government Gazette containing the final list of regulations regarding the lockdown here.

25 March 17:33

QUESTION: Will alcohol be sold?

No. No alcohol will be sold during the lockdown and people may not transport alcohol from one point to another. 

25 March 17:21

QUESTION: Will public transport operate?

For the most part - no. Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has indicated that most minibus taxis (as well as Uber and Bolt) will be banned from the road during the lockdown.

Trains will be completely shut down.

Taxis – including e-hailing services - will only be allowed to operate if they are carrying passengers who are considered essential workers, and have permits to that effect from their employers.

Read more here

25 March 14:06

25 March 14:06

QUESTION: What is a coronavirus?

SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, is a new strain of coronaviruses that have been around for ages.

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds.

In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that are typically mild, such as the common cold, though rarer forms such as SARS, MERS, and Covid-19 can be lethal. 

Coronaviruses are believed to cause 15% to 30% of all common colds in adults and children

So, just because you may have a coronavirus, it's unlikely to be the new strain, or novel, coronavirus. 

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