Lockdown Level-4 – What is Permitted as from 1 May 2020

Written by on April 29, 2020

What exactly is permitted in Lockdown Level-4 of the Risk-Adjusted Strategy?

In his address on Thursday 23 April 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the country would implement a partial easing of the current Covid-19 lockdown after April 30, to spare the economy and save jobs.

“Beyond Thursday the 30th of April we will implement a Risk-Adjusted Strategy to take a deliberate and cautious approach to ease lockdown restrictions,” he announced.

“The strategy we take now must be measured and incremental.”

“While a nationwide lockdown is probably the best means to contain the virus, it cannot be sustained indefinitely. Our people need to eat. They need to earn a living. Companies need to generate revenue.”

Ramaphosa said the government’s National Coronavirus Command Council had approved a five-level plan on easing the current hard lockdown, which will be adjusted based on an assessment of the infection rate and the capacity of SA’s health system to provide care to those who need it.

Level 5 means that drastic measures are required to contain the spread of the virus to save lives.

Level 4 means that some activity can be allowed to resume, subject to extreme precautions required to limit community transmission and outbreaks. Level 3 involves the easing of some restrictions, including on work and social activities, to address a high risk of transmission.

Level 2 involves the further easing of restrictions, but the maintenance of physical distancing and restrictions on some leisure and social activities to prevent a resurgence of the virus.

Level 1 means that most normal activity can resume, with precautions and health guidelines followed at all times.

President Ramaphosa said the coronavirus alert level will be lowered from level 5 to level 4 with effect from Friday May 1.

Level Four: Permitted Retail and Service Operations; and Personal Movement

All COVID-19 health and safety protocols must be followed at all times, including observance of guidelines for social distancing, sanitation and hygiene, and use of appropriate personal protective equipment, like cloth face masks, as determined by the National Department of Health

People may travel to perform and acquire services only where such services cannot be provided from the safety of one’s home.

A. Agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing:
1. All agriculture, hunting, forestry, fishing and related services, including the export of agricultural products permitted

B. Electricity, gas and water supply:
1. All electricity, gas and water supply

C. Manufacturing:
1. Manufacture of retail products permitted to be sold under Level Four, and all input products, permitted scaling up to full employment, except where otherwise indicated;
2. Manufacture of paper and paper products, excluding stationery, permitted scaling up to full employment;
3. Manufacture of packaging, including glass, plastic bottles and containers, permitted scaling up to full employment;
4. Petroleum smelters, refineries and furnaces, permitted scaling up to full employment;
5. Manufacture of winter clothing, bedding and heaters (and all inputs required) permitted, commencing at 25% and scaling up to 50% employment;
6. Automotive manufacturing, including components, scaling up in phases to 50% employment;
7. Stationery production, scaling up in phases to 50% employment
8. Cement, other construction material, and hardware, scaling up in phases to 50% employment;
9. All other manufacturing, scaling up to 20% employment

D. Construction and related services (inc. tradespeople):
1. Civil engineering for public works projects (including water, energy, sanitation);
2. Critical public works construction;
3. Road and bridge projects;
4. Other public works civil engineering projects; and
5. Critical maintenance and repairs

E. Wholesale and retail trade, covering stores, spaza shops, eCommerce and informal traders:
1. Any food product, including non-alcoholic beverages and animal food;
2. The sale of hot cooked food, only for home delivery;
3. Toilet Paper, sanitary pads, sanitary tampons, condoms;
4. Hand sanitiser, disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use, household cleaning products, and personal protective equipment;
5. Products for the care of babies and toddlers;
6. Personal toiletries, including haircare, body and face care products, rollons, deodorants, dental care products;
7. Medical and Hospital Supplies, medicine, equipment and personal protective equipment;
8. Fuel and lighting, including coal, wood, paraffin and gas;
9. Airtime and electricity
10. Hardware, components and supplies required by any qualified tradespersons solely for the purpose of emergency repairs at residential homes;
11. Hardware, components and supplies required by any entity engaged in the provision of essential services for any project related to the provision of water, electricity or other essential services;
12. Components for vehicles undergoing emergency repairs where such vehicle is used by a person engaged in essential services work;
13. Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any these products;
14. Textiles required to produce face masks, and other personal protective equipment;
15. Winter clothing, bedding and heaters;
16. Children’s clothing;
17. Stationery and educational books;
18. Tobacco products; EDIT: On 29 April Minister Dlamini-Zuma reversed the decision to allow the sale of tobacco products.
19. Personal ICT equipment including computers, mobile telephones and other home office equipment;
20. No sale of liquor permitted

F. Information and communication services:
1. All telecommunication services and infrastructure;
2. Information and Communication Technology services for all private and business customers;
3. Postal services and courier services related to transport of medical products

G. Media and entertainment services:
1. Online services;
2. Productions for local broadcast; and live streaming in support of COVID-19 subject to directions; and
3. Newspapers and broadcasting

H. Financial and business services:
1. Employees should work from home where possible;
2. Call centres, for local and all international markets, may operate subject to directions issues by the relevant cabinet members;
3. Essential financial services may operate subject to directions issues by the relevant cabinet member;
4. Private security services may operate;
5. Implementation of payroll systems;
6. Rental of motor vehicles, machinery and equipment, and of personal and household goods to support other Level Four services
7. Other professional services may operate only where work-from-home is not possible, and only to support other Level Four services

I. Accommodation and food service activities:
1. Accommodation not permitted, except for quarantine and essential services
2. Restaurants only for food delivery services (9am-8pm) and subject to curfew (no sit down or pick-up allowed)

J. Transport, storage and communication services:
1. Ocean and air transport permitted only for the shipment of cargo;
2. Public rail, minibus taxi and bus services will resume at levels and on terms as will be set out in Directions, based on the progressive increase in commuter numbers during the various phases;
3. E-hailing services subject to restrictions on capacity and times, and for permitted activities only; and
4. Transport and logistics in respect of specified cargo, and permitted retail goods to neighbouring countries, which shall include all goods imported via SA ports of entry, for re-export to neighbouring countries;
5. Essential imported goods will be prioritised through ports of entry and for transport and handling to final users. Directions will be issued in respect of
other goods

K. Mining and quarrying:
3. Coal production for Eskom scaling up to full employment;
4. Open-cast mining scaling up to full employment; and
5. All other mining starting in batches scaling up towards 50% employment

L. Repair and related emergency services:
1. Tow trucks and vehicle recovery services;
2. Emergency repair work, including plumbers, electricians, locksmiths, glaziers, roof repair work;
3. Emergency automobile repairs for all persons

M. Supply Chains:
1. Production, manufacturing, supply, logistics, transport, delivery, critical maintenance and repair in relation to the rendering of permitted services
including components and equipment;
2. All workplaces or premises must have care and maintenance that is essential to the prevention of the destruction or significant impairment of working areas, plant, machinery or inventory, or to permit orderly wind down arrangements, on such conditions as may be issued by means of directions by the relevant cabinet members

N. Private households employment:
1. Permitted to support all Level 4 personnel and live-in staff

O. Public administration, government services and other arms of the state
2. Only essential government and administration services may operate,
a) Disaster management services;
b) Licensing, permitting and deeds offices; birth and death certificates, replacement identification documents;
c) Any other service designated by the Executive Authority, HODs, Heads of Courts, and Heads of other Chapter 9 Institutions
d) Essential municipal services;
e) Services related to the essential functioning of courts;
f) Essential SARS services defined by the Commissioner of SARS;
g) Police, peace officers, traffic officers, military medical personnel and soldiers, correctional services officials and traffic management services;
h) Services rendered by the Executive, members of Parliament, Members of the Provincial Legislature, Members of Local Councils, the Judiciary, traditional leaders and National Office Bearers of Political Parties represented in Parliament;
i) Commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission, Gender Commission, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, the Public Protector and Deputy Public Protector and the Independent Electoral Commission

P. Health, social and personal services:
1. Medical and veterinary services permitted;
2. Cleaning, sanitation, pest control, sewerage, waste and refuse removal services;
3. Recycling of glass, paper & metal inc informal recyclers permitted at 50% capacity;
4. All Social work, counselling, care and relief activities permitted
5. Wildlife Management, Antipoaching, Animal Care and Veterinary services;
6. Funeral and cremation services, including mortuaries services and thetransportation of mortal remains;
7. Trade union essential staff for workers covered by Level 4, subject to Directions

Q. Education services:
1. Permitted on dates and schedule set out separately

R. Personal Movement:
1. Interprovincial travel is not permitted except to return to work with proof of employment, in exceptional circumstances such as funerals (with approval) or essential services.
2. Stay at home, other than essential travel for work and to purchase essential goods.
3. No recreational travel or to meet friends or family.
4. People can exercise under strict public health conditions, subject to directions, which will exclude organised activities, recreational facilities, and gyms
5. Mandatory use of cloth masks (including home-made ones to cover nose and mask) and ensure hand hygiene when in public and at workplace.
6. Emergencies for medical reasons.
7. Those who have an exemption to travel for funerals
8. South Africans returning home and foreign nationals leaving South Africa
9. Elderly and persons with co-morbidities are encouraged to self-isolate and only leave home for exceptional reasons.
10. Social distancing (2m away from other persons) to be applied in public when, shopping, visiting health facilities (pharmacies, clinics etc),
11. Social distancing when using public and private transport, as per transport guidelines
12. All public gatherings are prohibited.
13. Stores to ensure that there is temperature screening of patrons, hand sanitisers available and measures to facilitate social distancing. Where the number of customers cannot be accommodated at once then measures such a ticket system and defined limit of time in the store per customer should be implemented instead of the physical queuing of customers.
14. Curfews will be implemented between 8pm and 5am


Please Note that National Government can at any time change or adjust regulations for specific levels by either relaxing or tightening specific regulations.
Though Provincial Governments may not relax regulations below that which a specific level mandates, provinces may tighten certain regulations or remain a level above that which is currently the national level. For Example, when we are on National Level-4, certain provinces may remain on Level-5 or implement stricter limits on specific Level-4 regulations.


Click here to find a Complete List of Key Contact Details for Different Government Departments & Health Centers Dealing with the Coronavirus Outbreak and the Lockdown.

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