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Coronavirus: SA warned that failing to comply with new regulations will be dealt harshly

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Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and Police Minister Bheki Cele have warned South Africans that failure to comply with the regulations of the national state of disaster to combat the Covid-19 outbreak in South Africa will be dealt with by law enforcement agencies.

“For us, this is a very important means to help us combat [the virus],” Lamola said.

He was speaking at an inter-ministerial committee briefing in Pretoria on Thursday to explain, in more detail, the regulations that were gazetted on Wednesday, officially kicking off South Africa’s national state of disaster.

READ | The terrifying coronavirus projections that pushed government into lockdown action

Cele said restrictions on South Africans as part of the national state of disaster was now part of the law. “It’s not negotiations, it’s the law.”

Restrictions

These restrictions include limiting public gatherings to 100 or less, criminalising the intentional spread of fake news concerning Covid-19, criminalising the refusal of medical examinations and treatment, and criminalising the intentional spread of the virus.

With regards to regulations governing gatherings of more than 100 people, Cele said there would be no opportunity to get special permission to increase these numbers.

“You don’t go to the police station, you go straight to the funeral and you with 100 people,” he added. “This law will never be watered down anywhere else.”

Alcohol

Premises selling alcohol will either have to shut down between 18:00 and 09:00 on weekdays and Saturdays and by 13:00 on Sundays or they must accommodate no less than 50 people.

This would not only include taverns, Cele said, but any place that sold alcohol.

He explained more guidance would be given in future.

“We’ll make sure we work with you, we hope everybody will co-operate,” Cele said.

Follow News24’s rolling coverage on the coronavirus here.



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