South Africa Government on Thursday said it would gradually start easing coronavirus lockdown restriction from 1 May.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government had developed an approach which determined the measures that should be in place based on the direction of the pandemic in the country.
Ramaphosa said as part of this approach, there will be five coronavirus levels from five to one.
He said South Africa is currently at the highest strata of level 5, which requires a full national lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
According to him, “From May 1, the level will be lowered to level 4 which means some activity will be allowed to resume subject to extreme precautions”
He said that during the level 4 lockdown, South Africa’s borders would remain closed, adding that public transport will continue operating under restrictions.
Ramaphosa, however noted that travel will be allowed between provinces, except for the transportation of goods and exceptional circumstances such as funerals.
“We have decided on this approach because there is still much that is unknown about the rate and manner of the spread of the virus within our population,” said the president.
He added that scientists had cautioned that the reopening of the economy without any restrictions “could cause a massive resurgence in infections.
Cabinet ministers will outline on how these sectors would return to production in May and how the new stage of lockdown will work.
South Africa has the largest cases of coronavirus in Africa with 3,953 infected cases and 75 fatalities.