Lockdown levels: here’s what this means for you


Jade Poole from I Write Words

Lockdown levels

On 1 May, South Africa will come out of a level 5 lockdown and move into a level 4. Here’s what life will look like for us after over a month of hard lockdown.

After the president’s address on Thursday evening the 23rd of April, we are all left wondering what the lockdown levels will mean for us, our work life and our abilities to venture out into the world. To help make your life a little easier, which is what we love to do, we have put together a summary of what you need to know.

A simply summary

To put it simply, for Level 4 Lockdown, South Africans will still remain under lockdown, however, we now have a slight ease of restrictions on select public and economic activity that comes with moving from an alert Level 5 to Level 4.

Getting into the details

As we know, Ramaphosa addressed the nation on the evening of the 23rd of April and stated that in order for us to keep our infection levels down, the country will introduce a smart and proactive lockdown alert system that uses 5 levels to determine the movement restrictions put into place.

The coronavirus pandemic has infected over 2 million people worldwide and as a country, South Africa has been recognised for its incredible efforts to try and flatten the curve of the spread among our population.

What are the levels based on?

These levels are based on how rapidly the virus is spreading and the ability of our healthcare system’s to care for infected patients.

What happens in Level 4?

From Friday 1 May, South Africa will move into Level 4. In this level, essential services and some other businesses will be able to resume operations under extremely strict conditions.

Here’s what the levels mean:

Level 5: Serious measures are required to contain the spread of the coronavirus to save lives.

Level 4: (From 1 May) Some activity can be allowed to resume subject to extreme precautions required to limit community transmission and outbreaks.


Level 3: This level involves the easing of some restrictions, including on work and social activities, to address a high risk of transmission.

Level 2: This level 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: Most normal activity can resume, with precautions and health guidelines followed at all times.

Ramaphosa mentioned that “To ensure that our response to the pandemic can be as precise and targeted as possible, there will be a national level and separate levels for each province, district and metro in the country.”

Level 4 in detail: Measures in place

Level 4: (according to the president’s speech)

  1. Our borders will remain closed to international travel, except for the repatriation of South African nationals and foreign citizens.
  2. No travel will be allowed between provinces, except for the transportation of goods and exceptional circumstances such as funerals.
  3. Public transport will continue to operate, with limitations on the number of passengers and stringent hygiene requirements, including that all passengers must wear a face mask.
  4. The public is encouraged to stay at home, other than for essential personal movement, doing essential work and work in sectors that are under controlled opening.
  5. People can exercise under strict public health conditions.
  6. Those who are elderly, and those with underlying conditions, must remain at home and take additional precautions to isolate themselves.
  7. All gatherings, apart from funerals and for work, will remain prohibited.
  8. You’ll be able to buy even non-essential stuff from stores already open to sell food - The range of goods that may be sold will be extended to incorporate certain additional categories. These will be detailed by the relevant Ministers in the upcoming days.
  9. The sale of cigarettes will be permitted.
  10. Bars and shebeens will remain closed.
  11. Conference and convention centres, entertainment venues, cinemas, theatres, and concerts will remain closed.
  12. Concerts, sporting events, and religious, cultural and social gatherings will not be allowed until it is deemed safe for them to continue.
  13. Postal delivery will resume.
  14. E-hailing and taxis will be allowed at any time, but with limits on how many passengers each may carry.

From the evidence we have, we know that 75 percent of confirmed coronavirus cases are found in just six metro municipalities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Cape Town, Buffalo City, Ethekwini and Mangaung.

What you can do to make a difference

It is incredibly important that we all adhere to the above measurements put into place to flatten the curve and restrict our movements as much as possible to reduce the contact we have with other people.

We can prevent the spread of coronavirus by doing a few simple things.

  1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol based sanitizers.
  2. Keep a distance of more than one metre between yourself and the next person, especially those who are coughing and sneezing.
  3. Try not to touch your mouth, nose and eyes.
  4. When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue, and dispose of the tissue right away.
  5. Wear a face mask whenever you leave your home.

Some reading to keep you healthy, sane and happy

Your health, safety and happiness are a top priority for us, which is why we want to ensure you get your hands on easy to read and relevant articles:

Simple & Healthy Recipes To Keep Your Food Interesting (& Keep You Sane) During The Lockdown

The Most Common (& Easy) Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself During Lockdown

Oneplan Health Insurance: Helping You ‘Lockdown’ Your COVID-19 Knowledge

COVID-19 & Animals: Up-to-date Advice About Coronavirus & Your Pets


Yours in quality insurance,


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