South Africans have been ordered to wear masks when the country begins to relax regulations governing the coronavirus lockdown on May 1 when some 1.5 million workers are expected to report for work, a cabinet minister has announced.Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told journalists in Pretoria on Saturday that it would be “mandatory to use a cloth mask as you step out of your home” starting this Friday.
“In other words, you will need to have your nose and mouth covered in public,” Dlamini-Zuma said at the media briefing she held alongside her Trade and Industry counterpart Ebrahim Patel in the administrative capital.
She said those people without masks to wear could use a scarf or T-shirt to cover their mouths and noses.
The two ministers held the media briefing to launch what they called the “Risk Adjusted Strategy” which is being released for public comments and consultations.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday that coronavirus restrictions would be gradually eased from May 1 as the country comes out of a nationwide lockdown imposed on 27 March to combat the pandemic.
Patel said the agricultural sector would be allowed to resume operations completely from May 1, while restaurants could open but only for home deliveries and while mines could restart some activities as well.
In total, some 20 percent of industrial and commercial employees would be allowed back to work, Patel said, making it a total of 1.5 million South Africans expected to return to work this week as the country eases the “hard lockdown”.