Updated: Transport laws during the coronavirus lockdown

[Updated 29/03/2020] Unless it’s essential for survival to venture out of the house, stay at home

It’s a lockdown, an unprecedented first for all of us. It is scary, though the only way to flatten the curve of the coronavirus spread is to limit contact with other people. We are not the first country to go into lockdown from coronavirus, and we possibly won’t be the last either.

After the Security Cluster briefing on Wednesday 25 March at 17:00 we know the following details for the 21-day lockdown period.

The purpose of the lockdown is to limit the movement of the public who can spread the coronavirus unknowingly. By encouraging social-distancing it’ll slow down the pandemic.

Areas where people gather for food or drink, are prohibited, it’s a lockdown; people must stay at home.

Golden rule of lockdown

Unless it’s essential for survival to venture out of the house, stay at home

When can I drive?

When you need to get to essential services which include seeking medical care, buy groceries, access banking services, getting petrol and collecting a social grant.

READ: How to disinfect your car – #FlattenTheCurve

What happens if I decide to sneak out?

Just don’t, it’s not worth it, you could be punished with a fine, prison time or both. And home with a touch of cabin fever sounds far warmer and much more comfortable than cabin fever in a prison cell.

Booze in your car is a crime

The South African government has made it illegal to transport alcohol from point a to b, d, c, e or anywhere else during the 21-day lockdown period. There will be roadblocks and random checks during this time, if you are caught will alcohol in your car you’ll be in vast amount of trouble. And not the type that involves ‘a talking too’.

Limited transport services

There is no national or international flights for passengers for the next 21-days, nor are there train services including short and long distances whether public or privately operated, so no Metro Rail and no Gautrain.

Only essential service workers are allowed to use public transport, this includes taxis, metered taxis and any e-hailing services (Uber, Bolt, etc). The only hours these may be operational are *05:00 – 09:00 and 16:00 – 20:00*, they must adhere to social distancing and must be sanitised after every trip with a minimum of a 60% alcohol sanitiser. A taxi that could legally carry four passengers may now only carry one passenger, and eight passengers reverts to three passengers.

*Update 29 March 2020

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has amended the transport laws for the week Monday, 30 March to Friday, 3 April in regards to public transport. Buses and taxis will be permitted to run from 05:00 – 20:00 in order for those who need to collect social grants to use vital transport services. Those who will be using public transport to collect grants need to have their ID documents and Sassa (South African Social Security Agency) cards on them to help law officials as they assist with lockdown measures.

Remember the golden rule for the 21-day lockdown “unless it’s essential for survival to venture out of the house, stay at home”. 


image: iStock