As part of the Disaster Management Act, government has just introduced strict new measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. On Sunday, president Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster. This is the first National State of Disaster that has ever been declared in South Africa.

The regulations, signed by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, concern all government departments and their responsibilities to curb the spread of Covid-19.

With immediate effect, all establishments – including bars, clubs, shebeens and restaurants – that sell liquor must close at 18:00 on weekdays and Saturdays, and at 13:00 on Sundays and public holidays.

The new regulations for the Disaster Management Act gazetted on Wednesday, 18 March 2020, stipulate that those who spread fake news about the coronavirus can be fined or serve a six month prison sentence. The regulations have also warned a similar sentence for someone who intentionally exposes someone to the disease.

Other regulations include a moratorium on prison visits, closure of ECDs and prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people.

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