On the 1st of May the majority of South Africans had a reason to smile as the new level 4 COVID-19 lockdown rules came into effect. We were all granted three hours of outdoor morning exercise between 6am and 9am within a 5km radius of our house and, more importantly for our economy, a number of businesses were allowed to reopen.
The main things that remain prohibited in level 4 are the sale of tobacco products and alcohol, the opening of bars, public gatherings, sporting events, cultural & religious gatherings and international and domestic travel (unless for special circumstances). People are still encouraged to stay at home unless they are seeking medical care, buying essential goods or travelling to work with a special permit. If you do venture out it’s now a requirement to still keep a good social distance from other people and to wear a cloth mask to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19, and abide by the curfew that’s in place between 8pm and 5am.
Restaurants open for takeout delivery
The food industry was one of the hardest hit under level 5 lockdown regulations. Thankfully, under level 4 restrictions restaurants have been allowed to open their kitchens for takeout delivery, to the delight of everyone who has gotten a bit tired of home cooked meals. However, inline with the COVID-19 level 4 curfew, takeouts can only be delivered between 9am and 8pm. The allowance of restaurants to get back to making food that we all love means that they can start generating revenue once more, as well as a better cash flow for food delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Mr D Food that were forced to adjust to only delivering essential products under level 5 lockdown.
More products can be sold online and in physical stores
Under level 5 lockdown, only essential goods such as food, toiletries, baby products, cleaning products and healthcare products were allowed to be for sale. As winter fast approaches, the government has eased these restrictions slightly. Winter and children’s clothing, shoes, bedding and combustible items such as firewood and coal are now permitted.
The new regulations have also lifted the ban on the sale of cosmetic toiletries like beauty products and manicure tools, computer equipment, mobile phones, educational books and stationary.
Essential services expanded
Under level 4 lockdown, emergency services provided by plumbers, electricians, locksmiths and builders who cater for roofing and window repairs are also allowed. This is in addition to car mechanics who were granted the right to work in an emergency under level 5 lockdown.
The complete list of level 4 regulations can be found on the official South African government’s website.
Stay informed about your industry
While our government has done a tremendous job of flattening the curve, there has unfortunately been quite a bit of confusion about the specifics of new regulations and when they will be adjusted. So if your business is still unable to operate during level 4 lockdown, it’s important to remain optimistic that regulations will soon be adjusted to allow you to open your doors again. In the meantime, we suggest doing the following:
- Continue selling non-essential items that can be delivered post-lockdown.
- Register your offline business on an online voucher platform so that you can sell vouchers that can be redeemed post-lockdown.
- Use our payment request feature to get paid online, without a website.
- Monetise your live streams and video recordings on Quicket’s newly launched pay-gated web streaming feature.
- Stay at the forefront of your customers minds by sending out mailers and social posts promoting special lockdown offers.
- Read our COVID-19 Merchant Survival Guide for other great tips and advice.