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CORRECTION: Lockdown dos and don'ts

29 March 2020 - 00:02 By ALEX PATRICK
Do I still have child visitation rights ?
Do I still have child visitation rights ?
Image: 123RF/Aleksandr Davydov

In the piece below, ”Lockdown dos and don’ts”, that appeared in Sunday Times on March 29, we quoted a family lawyer, saying the lockdown would not replace court-ordered visitation rights.

In fact, the regulations say that every person is confined to his or her residence, unless strictly for the purpose of performing an essential service, obtaining an essential good or service, collecting a social grant, or seeking emergency, life-saving, or chronic medical attention. 

Lindiwe Zulu, the minister of social development, said on Saturday that: “The child shall remain in custody of the parent with whom the child was with when the lockdown was effected.

“The parent who was not with the child during the lockdown, in order to remain a personal relationship with the child, may communicate on a regular basis with the child.”

We regret the error.

Below is a correction version of the article.

Lawyers and officials answer questions about the lockdown.

May I still order items online?

Yes, Takealot.com has been named an essential service. Only essential items can be ordered, and no food items except pet food, limited to five items per customer. Some supermarkets offer deliveries, but there is a waiting period due to demand.

Why no wine and cigarettes?

Andrea Campher from Agri SA disaster risk management said this rule was put in place because only essential items are to be sold.

Nonessential crops can be harvested and stored, such as wine grapes, tobacco and cotton, but they are not needed for nourishment. Drinking alcohol is also discouraged because it lowers immunity.

Do I still have child visitation rights ?

Lindiwe Zulu, the minister of social development, said on Saturday that: “The child shall remain in custody of the parent with whom the child was with when the lockdown was effected.

“The parent who was not with the child during the lockdown, in order to remain a personal relationship with the child, may communicate on a regular basis with the child.”

Will I be arrested for going to the grocery store?

No, as long as you are shopping at a store near your home. If you are stopped while travelling to a store far from your home, you will need to show that the essential item you need cannot be bought closer to home.

What if I don't obey the lockdown?

If you are convicted of contravening the lockdown order you may be liable to a fine or could face a prison term of up to six months, or both.

What if I am stopped on the road?

You will be asked for the reason for being out. If it is acceptable, you will be allowed to continue. If you have left home to perform an essential service, you need to carry a permit for this.

May I travel to my holiday home?

No, you are not permitted to leave the country, or the province you are staying in, and you may not travel outside your metropolitan area.

Can I still use public transport?

Yes, but only if it is for the purpose of performing an essential service, getting essential goods, seeking medical assistance, attending a funeral service or collecting social grants.

Public transport will only be available between 5am and 9am and again between 4pm and 8pm and includes bus and taxi services, e-hailing services and private vehicles.

But a vehicle may hold only 50% of its licensed capacity and drivers must ensure that vehicles have been sanitised. You may only use these services if you do not have flu-like symptoms.

May I swim at the pool in our complex?

No, during the lockdown you may not swim in public swimming pools, at beaches or in dams. You may not use the public facilities at your complex, either. These facilities have the potential to attract other people and risk spreading the virus.

May I take groceries to my elderly neighbour?

You are permitted to shop for close neighbours or community members as long as you do not have to deviate far from your route.

All necessary precautions must be taken to ensure this does not spread the virus, and buying for others must only be done if there is no alternative.

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