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8m workers to return to work in S. Africa on June 1

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-29 18:18

A mine worker is shown his temperature, measured ahead of his shift, during a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at a mine of Sibanye-Stillwater company in Carletonville, South Africa, May 19, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

JOHANNESBURG - As lockdown regulations are being eased in South Africa, a total of eight million workers are set to return to work on June 1, according to the government.

Speaking to the media during the National Coronavirus Command Council briefing on Thursday, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said precautionary measures should be observed at work.

"Employers must ensure that the 1.5-meter distance is maintained among employees. We will have to limit the number of people in the workplace, so that we minimize the chance of infection," she said.

While millions of employees return to work, people over 60 and those with underlying conditions should be encouraged to work remotely.

Dlamani-Zuma said the hospitality industry would remain closed during the level-three lockdown, gatherings would remain prohibited together with places of entertainment being closed.

"In minimizing the chances of infection, on-site consumption places for food, entertainment and recreation will remain closed. These include places such as restaurants, shebeens, taverns, night clubs, bars, cinemas, theaters, fetes, bazaars, casinos, and similar places," she said.

Religious gatherings limited to 50 people would also be allowed in June.

"Our places of worship must be sanitized, and the screening of participants is mandatory," she said.

Dlamini-Zuma also said that the sale of tobacco would not be permitted during level-three lockdown.

"The sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products remains prohibited, except when they are destined for the export market."

Following a two months alcohol ban, liquor would be sold during the weekday.

"The sale of liquor in licensed premises will now be permitted for the limited period between Mondays and Thursdays," she said.

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