What is the change? The South African government will begin relaxing the strict nationwide COVID-19 lockdown on May 1 with a phased approach to allowing some businesses to reopen, but the borders will remain closed and domestic travel, as well as nonessential activities, will remain curtailed.

What does the change mean? Certain businesses will be permitted to reopen but only one-third of workers will be allowed to return to work, according to comments by President Cyril Ramaphosa in a televised address last week. The energy sector and refineries are among the industries allowed to resume operations. Restrictions may be specific to individual provinces, districts and metropolitan areas, as separate alert levels will be issued for each locality.

  • Implementation time frame: May 1 and onward.
  • Business impact: Some businesses will be able to resume, but much activity will remain restricted, such as travel between provinces and large gatherings. The government is encouraging businesses that are operating remotely to continue doing so.

Additional information: The guidelines for the May 1 phase allow for South Africans to return but they must be quarantined for 14 days before residing with family or going to work. Postal services, courier services and public transportation will resume. Hotels and other guest accommodations remain closed. Recreational visits and crowds are prohibited. Individuals may go outdoors for exercise but are restricted to certain hours and must keep social distancing. A curfew of 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. is in place, except for those who have a permit.

Analysis & Comments: Petroleum and other energy companies will be able to reopen because of their importance to the South African economy. As with other countries, the COVID-19 situation is fluid, and the government is taking a cautious approach in reopening businesses selectively to revive the economy without sparking a new outbreak of the coronavirus. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes around the world.

Rest of World Source: Deloitte. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more. Deloitte Legal means the legal practices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms or their affiliates that provide legal services. For legal, regulatory and other reasons, not all member firms provide legal services. This includes Deloitte Tax LLP in the United States which does not provide legal and/or immigration advice or services. This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication. © 2020. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.