Ramaphosa says restaurants, hair salons, casinos and movie theatres to reopen

17 June 2020 - 20:40 By Naledi Shange

President Cyril Ramaphosa on June 17 2020 announced the easing of restrictions on things such as restaurants for sit-down meals, accredited and licensed accommodation, conferences and meetings for business purposes, cinemas and theatres. Ramaphosa said a date for the commencement of these eased restrictions was yet to be announced.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday announced the easing of restrictions on restaurants for sit-down meals, accredited and licensed accommodation, conferences and meetings for business purposes, cinemas and theatres.

Ramaphosa said casinos and personal care services, such as hairdressers and beauty salons, will also be opened for business.

Meanwhile, non-contact sports such as golf, cricket and tennis will also be permitted.

Ramaphosa said a date for the commencement of these eased restrictions was yet to be announced.

He was addressing the nation on developments in SA’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of Covid-19.

Ramaphosa's address follows a number of meetings of the cabinet, the national coronavirus command council and the presidential coordinating council.

He said the easing of these sectors came after the government promised to look at ways to help more business sectors open up amid the lockdown. These industries employed more than half a million people, he added.

Ramaphosa said the government had to make this decision because of the people who are employed in these industries and those who depended on the people employed in those industries.

He stressed that the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced the closure of key sectors in the country, had severely impacted the country. These include large companies with many thousands of employees and many more smaller companies with just a handful of employees. 

"This means that there are businesses that have not earned any revenue and individuals who have not had any income for over 80 days," he said.

"Even with the measures we put in place to support companies, employees and poor households as part of the R500bn relief package, there is a limit to how long these businesses can be closed.

"When I announced that the country would be moving to alert level 3 from June 1, I said that we would be giving consideration to reopening other sectors of the economy if the necessary safety precautions could be put in place and maintained."

These are the activities that will be permitted:

  • restaurants for sit-down meals;
  • accredited and licensed accommodation, with the exception of home-sharing accommodation like Airbnb;
  • conferences and meetings for business purposes and in line with restrictions on public gatherings;
  • cinemas and theatres, to be aligned to limitations on the gathering of people;
  • casinos; 
  • personal care services, including hairdressers and beauty services; and
  • non-contact sports such as golf, tennis, cricket and others. Contact sports will be allowed only for training and modified activities, with restricted use of facilities. 

"In each instance, specific and stringent safety requirements have been agreed on and will need to be put in place before a business can reopen, and protocols will need to be strictly adhered to for businesses to remain open," said Ramaphosa.

"Announcements will be made in due course to detail these measures and indicate the date from which these activities will be permitted. We have taken this decision with due care and seriousness, appreciating the risks associated with each activity and the measures needed to manage those risks."


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