No dog walks, no jogging and no alcohol buying allowed during lockdown - Police Minister
Johannesburg - No dog walks, no jogging, no purchasing of alcohol and no purchasing of food from restaurants will be allowed during the 21-day lockdown, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced on Wednesday afternoon.
The decision comes after Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced earlier on Wednesday that people would be allowed to jog and walk dogs responsibly.
"If you go out and jog it must be for a short distance and no mingling. We do not want to see crowds," Mkhize had said earlier.
Cele said after a meeting with ministers later on Wednesday, Mkhize's remarks had been reversed.
"There shall be no dogs that shall be walked," he said, adding that people should walk their dogs at home. This was also extended to jogging.
Cele said the previous regulations which allowed liquor stores, taverns, shisanyamas, pubs and clubs, to open between 9am and 6pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 9am to 1pm on Sundays, was no more.
He said people would be allowed to consume alcohol in their homes, but not outside of their homes to avoid havoc during the lockdown.
"For 21 days, please stay sober," said Cele.
EFF leader Julius Malema had tweeted in anger on Wednesday afternoon after Mkhize's remarks that people be allowed to jog and walk dogs during the lockdown.
South Africa has 709 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, this was a significant jump from 554 cases on Tuesday.
Said Malema: “I hear some people will be allowed to walk dogs; just don't try us, please. We support the government’s intervention, but rubbish won't be tolerated,” tweeted the leader of the red berets.
I hear some people will be allowed to walk dogs; just don't try us, please. We support the government’s intervention, but rubbish won't be tolerated.— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) March 25, 2020
Mkhize said he supported the decision to reverse the decision on jogging and dog-walking.
"The position as it stands now is what we agree with. It is important. It does not add value in implementing the lockdown.
"The real reason (behind closing liquor stores) is the concern we have is that people will think the lockdown will sort the virus out. When people are indoors and promulgate in large numbers, the behaviour predisposes the people to be infected.
"We want to urge our people to reduce movement in order to reduce the chance of people being infected. The real battle starts now. The precautions of hygiene, the precautions keeping a safe distance are still important.
"I want to commend the police in their swift action where someone ignored the call to quarantine. If we ask you to quarantine, you will be forced. The same goes for those who fail to divulge who they were in contact with.
" These issues are important. Part of the problem is that people are already moving from their provinces to their homes. Old people are vulnerable," said the Health Minister.