Ministers spent the day on Wednesday giving contradicting advice on whether South Africans can walk dogs or jog in their neighbourhoods.
South Africa (25 March 2020) – The Minister of Health has confirmed that South Africans are allowed to go for a jog and walk their dogs, as long as it is done safely, and large groups of people are avoided in the morning while the Police Minister said the opposite in the afternoon.
Minister Zweli Mkhize explained in a morning press briefing that the lockdown was to prevent large gatherings, like too many people on public transport, from spreading the virus back and forth but walking a dog or going for a jog during the next 21 days is allowed!
“Taking a dog for a walk, going to the shops to buy food and essentials should be fine. We want to avoid people congregating in large numbers, as well as panic buying. We ask people to exercise restraint, even with people in your own house.
Between people is where we will stop the virus from spreading. The lockdown is to prevent large gatherings, too many people on public transport spreading the virus back and forth.
We need to be in this together. Hand washing, sanitising, keeping your distance from people. This disease will not be defeated by doctors and nurses, it will be defeated by individuals,” the minister said during a press briefing with News24.
Exactly how, when, and where you are allowed to do so was meant to be published in government guidelines later but then the Minister of Health had a conversation on 702 and again confirmed that you can go for a jog or walk your dog, but it is really preferable that you stay at home.
Even though he prefers that people must stay at home during the lockdown if people were to go out and jog, it has to be for a short distance and it mustn’t be with a crowd, he says.
Listen to the interview below:
South Africans believed that a decision had been made but Police Minister Bheki Cele turned the decision around in an evening briefing and said South Africans will not be able to walk their dogs during the lockdown period and added in that the nation would also not be allowed to buy alcohol.
After the final briefing, the government gazette published strict rules for staying inside our properties.
Published restrictions on movement of people and goods in the Government Gazette. pic.twitter.com/qJ6TIZ032z
— Mandy Wiener (@MandyWiener) March 25, 2020
Police Minister Bheki Cele was then interviewed on the Jacaranda breakfast show (on Thursday 26 March 2020) and stated that you are allowed to jog or walk your dog inside a Private Estate.
“We should not punish people but citizens should understand (rules are in place for the benefit of themselves). If you avoid any form of contact with anyone, be responsible.”
Listen to the full interview below:
Update: The Community Schemes Ombud (CSOS) who are empowered by Government to regulate community schemes, issued their ruling last night (27 March 2020).
Under no circumstances may any person leave the sanctity of their homes to walk dogs, jog or cycle and the SAP/Army will patrol estates to ensure that the law is observed.
Following is the salient paragraph extracted from the ruling:
Good Things Guy is reporting on this News as many of our readers are dog-lovers and have asked the question. We do however want to state that if you choose to walk your dog or jog outside then you must do this with all safety protocols in place (distance must be kept and no groups).