SI 99 OF 2020: THE MAIN POINTS

On the 2nd of May 2020, the Minister of Health promulgated SI 99 of 2020 providing for what has now been termed as level 2 lockdown. The purpose of this article is to highlight the main points emanating from this statutory instrument.

Extension of the lockdown

The SI extends the lockdown period from the 30th March 2020 to the 17th May 2020.

Face masks

The SI now makes it mandatory for anyone leaving their home to be wearing a mask.

It is important to note that the type and quality of the mask is not restricted.

This is meant to accommodate home-made masks.

Public Transport

Persons entering public transportation must be screened before they board such transport.

In practice, this screening is being done using an infrared temperature scanner.

I believe those with temperatures above a certain threshold (usually 37.5 Degrees Celsius) may not be allowed to board the public transport.

Social Distancing will also have to be maintained during the process of boarding public transport.

As per WHO guidelines the accepted social distancing is between 1 meter to 1.5 meters between persons.

The transport will be disinfected against the COVID-19 twice a day.

 In practice, hydrogen peroxide and other forms of disinfectants are used to render such disinfection.

Gatherings

Public gatherings of more than 50 persons are still outlawed but in addition, those attending a public gathering should wear a mask whilst in attendance.

SI 94 of 2020

SI 94 of 2020 was not repealed by SI 99 of 2020.

Its provisions, in as far as they apply to the Mining and Manufacturing sectors remain valid.

More businesses to open

SI 99 of 2020 added “businesses in the formal commercial and industrial sector” as part of the country’s essential services.

The SI also specifies what is deemed to be formal commercial sector and in terms of these provisions, such a business should have a shop or other licence among other requirements.

Testing of persons before a business starts

The Act also posits that before a business starts its operations, all persons shall at “the direction of an enforcement officer submit to screening and testing for the COVID-19 disease”.

The testing function is carried out by the Ministry of Health. All an employer must do is to plan with the “Ministry of Health Call Centre” or the “Ministry of Information Call Centre”. (Repealed by SI 102 of 2020)

Ordinarily, such businesses are expected to operate between 0800 hours and up to 1500 hours. The SI also provides that on good cause being shown, such hours may be extended.

Penalty for violation

Violation of any provisions in the Act can attract a level 12 penalty or imprisonment up to 2 years.

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