ALERT LEVEL 3 – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
(UPDATED ON 31 December 2020)

Any employer which is permitted to commence operations must develop measures to ensure that the workplace meets the standards of health and safety protocols. Employers should also take steps to eliminate or mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in line with the latest COVID-19 Regulations, numerous directives published thereunder as well as any sector agreements or guidelines issued by sector bodies / industry associations. These are accessible on the Government Notices Page or on the South African Government website.

The responses to these frequently asked questions aligned with the COVID-19 Regulations published for Adjusted Alert Level 3  on 29 December 2020 (hereinafter called the “the Lockdown Regulations”) as well as the Consolidated Direction on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Certain Workplaces published on 1 October 2020 (as amended) (“OHSA Directive”). We endeavour to update the frequently asked questions and responses as often as possible having regard to amendments to the Lockdown Regulation and OHSA Directive however the regulatory requirements are constantly being updated. You are responsible to keeping yourself abreast of any amendments to the Lockdown Regulations, directives and sector / association guidelines which may impact your compliance with these constantly changing laws.  

Additional resources that you may find useful on the Return2Work website include:

 We appreciate that these are uncertain and stressful times. We all need to take responsibility for applying cool heads as to what is required of us under the current circumstances. Government will need to rely on us to self-comply, using our best judgement in the circumstances and conduct businesses in a way that minimises the transmission of COVID-19.

Part I: Preparing to re-open

STAY CLOSED MODULE

Schedule of services framework for sectors – look at services allowed for Level 4

IS THERE AN OFFICIAL LIST OF BUSINESSES THAT CAN NOT OPERATE OR SPECIFIC EXCLUSIONS DURING ADJUSTED ALERT LEVEL 3?

During the Adjusted Alert Level 3  the following businesses are not allowed to operate::

  1. Night clubs,bars,tarvens, shebeens and similar establishments.
  2. Sale, dispensing distribution and transportation of liquor and the consumption of liquor in public places, save for transportation as allowed in regulations 44 and 86.
  3. The 33 land borders that remain closed.
  4. Night vigils
  5. After-funeral gatherings including “after-tears” gatherings.
  6. Social gatherings.
  7. Beaches, dams, rivers, lakes in areas declared as hotspots.
  8. Public parks including public and recreational facilities.
  9. Public swimming pools, exceopt as provided for in regulation 39(1)(b).
  10. Initiation practices and post-initiation practices (imigidi) except as specifically allowed in regulations 40 and 85.
  11. Passenger ships for international leisure purposes excluding small crafts, in -line with health and border law enforcement protocols. “
  12. Attendance of any sporting event by spectators.
  13. Exclusions relating to public transport services as set out in the directions issued by the Cabinet member responsible for transport.
DO I HAVE TO REGISTER MY BUSINESS ON THE HTTP://WWW.BIZPORTAL.GOV.ZA/ CIPC PORTAL IN ORDER TO CARRY ON BUSINESS OR DO I NEED TO APPLY FOR AN EXTENSION IF I ALREADY HAD A CIPC CERTIFICATE?

No, businesses do not need to register their businesses on the CIPC portal or apply for an extension in order to operate in Adjusted Alert Level 3. No enforcement officer is therefore entitled to demand the production of a CIPC certificate by any business, whatever the nature of the business.

I HAVE A SMALL BUSINESS (10 EMPLOYEES OR LESS) AM I EXPECTED TO TAKE THE SAME MEASURES AS LARGER BUSINESSES?

All businesses, no matter their size need to comply with the COVID-19 Regulations.

The OHSA Directive applies to a limited to extent for employers with 10 or less employees. In this regard if the employer is permitted to recommence operations during Adjusted  Alert Level 3  it must take the following minimum measures to comply with the directions:

  1. develop a basic plan for the phasing in the return of its employees taking into account those that are able to work remotely and those over the age of 60 years or who have comorbidities;
  2. arrange the workplace to ensure that employees are at least 1.5 metres apart or, if not practicable, place physical barriers between them to prevent the possible transmission of COVID-19;
  3. ensure that employees that present with the COVID-19 symptoms are not permitted to work (there symptoms include a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath (or difficulty in breathing), loss of smell or taste, fever, body aches, redness of eyes, nausea , vomiting, diarrhea , fatigue, weakness or tiredness)
  4. immediately contact the COVID-19 hotline: 0800 02 9999 for instruction and direct the employee to act in accordance with those instructions;
  5. provide cloth masks or require an employee to wear some form of cloth covering over their mouth and nose while at work;
  6. provide employees with sufficient and adequate hand sanitizers, access to soap and clean water to wash their hands and disinfectants to sanitize their workstations;
  7. ensure that while employees are at work they wash and sanitize their hands;
  8. ensure that frequently touched surfaces are disinfected regularly; and
  9. take any other measures indicated by a risk assessment of the workplace (including the additional measures mentioned below if the public have access to the workplace).
MUST I CONDUCT A RISK ASSESSMENT AND PLAN BEFORE WE REOPEN?

All Employers Yes, before reopening all employers (who are permitted to operate during Adjusted Alert Level 3  ) must undertake a risk assessment give effect to the minimum measures required by the OHSA Directive and taking into account the specific circumstances of their workplace.

On the basis of that risk assessment, businesses must develop a plan outlining the protective measures in place for the phased return of its employees before opening;

All businesses must consult on the risk assessment and plan with any –

  • any representative trade union if there is one; and
  • any health and safety committee or in the absence of such a committee, a designated health and safety representative or employee representative.

This risk assessment and the plan should be available for inspection by an inspector, representative trade, health and safety committee and health and safety representative (as applicable).

Businesses which employ more than 500 employees

Businesses that employ over 500 employees must submit a record of its risk assessment together with a written policy concerning the protection of the health and safety of its employees from COVID-19 to–

  • its health and safety committee; and
  • the Department of Employment and Labour within 21 days of the commencement of this Direction. Submission must be made to the Provincial Chief Inspector.
WHAT MUST THE WORKPLACE PLAN INCLUDE?

Your workplace plan must include –

  1. the date that the workplace will open and the hours of opening;
  2. a list of employees permitted to return to work and those who are required to work from home;
  3. the plan and timetable for the phased-in return of employees to the workplace;
  4. identify vulnerable employees in order to implement special measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 for them and to facilitate their safe return to work or their working from home;
  5. ways of minimizing the number of workers at the workplace at any one time;
  6. the workplace protective measures required to be taken in terms of the Direction on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Certain Workplaces and any sectoral guidelines to get the workplace COVID-19 ready;
  7. the measures for the daily screening of employees and the screening of clients, contractors and visitors to the workplace ; and the details of the appointed COVID-19 compliance officer.
MUST ALL BUSINESSES APPOINT A COMPLIANCE OFFICER?

All industries, businesses and entities (in both the private and in the public sector) which are permitted to operate must designate a COVID19 compliance officer. The compliance officer is responsible for:

  • overseeing the implementation of the ‘COVID-ready Workplace Plan’ which is required to be developed prior to the business reopening;
  • adherence by the business of the standards of hygiene, health and safety protocols relating to COVID19 at the workplace.

The compliance officer may be an employee or other suitable person and must be appointed /assigned, in writing. The compliance officer must ensure the physical distancing requirements and hygiene requirements mentioned in the COVID-19 Regulations as well as any applicable directions are adhered to.

Retail stores and institutions are specifically required to designate a compliance officer to ensure that safety controls are strictly adhered to and display the name of the compliance officer prominently in the store or institution in a visible area.

CAN EMPLOYEES WORK AT OUR BUSINESS PREMISES DURING ADJUSTED ALERT LEVEL 3 ?

While the Lockdown Regulations encourage all persons who are able to work from home to do so it also allows for persons who are permitted to work during Adjusted Alert Level 3  to travel between work and home for work purposes however this is subject to:

  • strict compliance with health protocols and social distancing measures;
  • the return to work being phased-in in order to get the workplace ‘COVID-19 ready’; and
  • the return to work being done in a manner that avoids and reduces the risk of infection.

The employer will also need to consider whether any of its employees are above the age of 60 and/or suffer from any comorbidities in determining whether or not an employee can reasonably work from home or not.

The employer must implement the phased return of its employees to work in accordance with its workplace plan.

DO EMPLOYEES NEED TO BE ISSUED WITH PERMITS TO TRAVEL BETWEEN WORK AND HOME?

No, the Lockdown Regulations do not require employers to issue employees with any permits or letters in order to travel between work and home except if the employee is required to travel or work during curfew hours.

If an employee is required to travel or work during curfew hours then his/her employer must issue him/her a permit which corresponds with Form 7 in Annexure A of the Lockdown Regulations to perform a service other than a service listed in Part I (1)The employee should also carry his/her official personal identification document (ID document, passport or other official photo ID).

IF THE OWNER HAS FACILITIES FOR HOSTING GATHERINGS, WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS THEY SHOULD COMPLY WITH ?

An owner or operator of any indoor or outdoor facility where gatherings are held must display the certificate of occupancy which sets out the maximum number of persons the facility may hold.

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_speech/Covid19_CapacityComplianceCertificate.pdf

The owner and attendees at gatherings must adhere to the requirements as set referred to; to limit exposure to COVID-19 during Adjusted Alert Level3

ARE THERE CURFEW RESTRICTIONS APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES AND PERSONS WHO ARE PERMITTED TO WORK DURING ADJUSTED ALERT LEVEL 3?
  • A curfew has been implemented during Adjusted Alert Level 3 which means that every person must remain in his or her place of residence from 21H00 until 06H00 daily except in areas declared a hotspot. However, the regulations allow persons who have been granted a permit, which corresponds with Form 7 of Annexure A, to perform a service other than a service listed in Part I(1) including attending to a security and emergency services to leave their home to attend to their work requirements.
  • A closing time for indoor or outdoor establishments is 20H00. This include cinemas, theatres, casinos, museums, galleries and archives, gyms and fitness centres, restaurants, venues hosting auctions, venues hosting professional sport.

Part II: Workplace health and safety

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WHAT IS THE MINIMUM I NEED TO DO TO COMPLY?

Businesses strongly discouraged from applying a “tick-box” exercise to comply with COVID-19 health and safety requirements. While the Lockdown Regulations and directions issued thereunder may provide some minimum requirements that must be complied with we urge all businesses to go beyond the minimum requirements and use their best efforts to minimise the spread of COVID-19. Each business can make a real difference in reducing the spread of COVID-19 by going beyond regulatory compliance.

Minimum requirements set out in the Lockdown Regulations during Adjusted Alert Level 3  and the OHSA Directive as well as sector-specific guidelines can be accessed at the following links:

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS I MUST REMEMBER IF I HAVE EMPLOYEES WITH CO-MORBIDITIES OR WHO ARE OVER THE AGE OF 60?

Yes, all employers must implement measures for employees who are over the age of 60 or those with co-morbidities to facilitate their safe return to work which may include special measures at the workplace to limit those employees’ exposure to COVID-19 infection. Where possible, the employer should considering allowing these employees to work from home.

WHAT OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURES SHOULD AN EMPLOYER ADHERE TO?

Employer who employs more than 50 employees in the workplace-

  1. Must submit the following categories of data to the National Institute of Occupational Health in the manner set out in the National Department of Health Guidelines.
    • each employees’ vulnerability status for serious outcomes of a COVID-19 infection (Once off submission by the workplace, and any subsequent occasion when new appointments are made or an employee’s status requires updating.);
    • details of the COVID -19 screening of employees who are symptomatic;( The data must be submitted on a weekly basis during the calendar week. The submissions should be done before Tuesday for the previous calendar week)
    • details of employees who test positive in terms of a positive laboratory test for the COVID-19 virus; (This data should be submitted on a weekly basis during the calendar week.)
    • the number of employees identified as high risk contacts within the workplace if a worker has been confirmed positive;( The total number of employees placed in quarantine as a result of the high risk exposure should be submitted on a weekly basis should there be positive worker/s identified during the week.)
    • details of the post-infection outcomes of those testing positive, including the return to work assessment outcome;( . This data must be submitted once only when the employee returns to work.)
  2. Must inform employees of the submission made in terms of the sub-direction data to National Institute for Occupational Health and advise them of its adherence to the Protection of Personal Information Act,2013 (Act No.4 of 2013). Submission link: OHSworkplace@nioh.ac.za) or via online platform http://ohss.nioh.ac.za
AM I OBLIGED TO PROVIDE EMPLOYEES WITH CLOTH MASKS AND PPE?

Cloth masks

Every employer is required to provide every employee with two cloth face masks that covers the employee’s nose and mouth, when in the workplace.

 

An employer may not allow any employee to perform any duties or enter the employment premises if the employee is not wearing a cloth face mask, homemade item, or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth while performing his or her duties

An employer who fails to take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the above commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine and/or to imprisonment for up to six months.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

The general requirement for workers to wear masks does not derogate from the fact that, where a risk assessment indicates that specific PPE is required, those categories of workers must be provided with the accredited PPE in accordance with Department of Health guidelines.

Every employer must check regularly on the websites of the National Department of Health, National Institute of Communicable Diseases and the National Institute for Occupational Health whether any specialised PPE for COVID-19 is required or recommended in any guidelines given the nature of the workplace or the nature of a worker’s duties and the associated level of risk.

WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL DISTANCING MEASURES MY BUSINESS IS REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH IN THE WORKPLACE?

All businesses

The Lockdown Regulations oblige every business premises to determine the number of customers and employees that may be inside the premises at any time with adequate space available between them having regard to the available floor space in square meters.

Furthermore both the regulations and the OHSA Directive requires all employers to, adopt measures to promote physical distancing of employees. These measures may include (but is not limited to):

  • Minimising the number of employees at the workplace at any given time (for example by enabling employees to work from home or minimising the need for employees to be physically present at the workplace, implementing staff rotation measures, staggering working hours, introducing shift systems)
  • restricting face to face meetings;
  • arranging the workplace to ensure minimal contact between employees themselves and between employees and the public as far as practicable so there is a minimum of 1.5 metres between each of them (bearing in mind the minimum distance might need to be greater depending on the industry and workplace).
  • If it is not practicable to arrange work stations to be spaced at least 1.5 meters apart then ensure physical barriers are placed between work stations to form a solid physical barrier between workers while they are working or, when required, supply the employee free of charge with appropriate PPE based on a risk assessment of the working place.

Every employer must also ensure that social distancing measures are implemented through supervision both in the workplace and in the common areas outside the immediate workplace through queue control or within the workplace such as canteens and lavatories. These measures may include dividing the workforce into groups or staggering break-times to avoid the concentration of workers in common areas.

 

Certain businesses with more than 500 employees

Construction, manufacturing, business and financial services firms with more than 500 employees must finalise appropriate sector or workplace arrangements or compacts to:

  • provide or arrange transport for employees coming to site, or, where this is not possible, consider staggered working time arrangements to reduce congestion in public transport;
  • stagger the return to work of employees to ensure workplace readiness and avoid traffic congestion during peak travel times as a result of the return to work;
  • screen employees daily for symptoms of COVID19 and refer the employees who display symptoms for medical examination and testing where necessary; and
  • submit data collected during the screening and testing process to the Director General: Health.
MUST I IMPLEMENT ANY MEASURES OUTSIDE MY BUSINESS PREMISES?

Yes, businesses must also take steps to ensure that persons queuing both inside or outside the premises are able to maintain a distance of one and a half metres from each other (this typically would apply to business with heavy foot traffic such as supermarkets, shops, grocery stores, retail stores, wholesale produce markets and pharmacies).

WHO MUST I PROVIDE HAND SANITISER TO AND WHAT TYPE OF HAND SANITISER IS CORRECT?

All businesses must:

  • free of charge, ensure that there are sufficient quantities of hand sanitizer based on the number of workers or other persons who access the workplace at the entrance of, and in, the workplace which the workers or other persons are required to use. The hand sanitizer must have at least 70% alcohol content and should be in accordance with the recommendations of the Department of Health.
  • provide every employee who works away from the workplace, other than at home with an adequate supply of hand sanitizer;
  • employees who interact with the public with sufficient supplies of hand-sanitizer at that worker’s workstation for both the worker and the person with whom the worker is interacting;
  • educate employees of their obligation to wash and/or sanitize their hands regularly while at work and before and after each interaction with the public.
HOW OFTEN MUST WORKPLACES BE CLEANED?
  • All workplaces should be cleaned daily and the frequency will vary for each employer and business. (Conduct a routine cleaning on minimally touched surfaces such as floors, ceiling etc.)
  • Regularly disinfect in the workplace frequently touched surfaces such table surfaces, door knobs and when  there is likelihood of contamination such as:
  • Suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at the workplace only on affected areas;
  • Workplaces with high volume of workers, customers or visitors that are likely to touch surfaces.

Note that deep-cleaning may be required when an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. See question further below.

I HAVE HEARD THAT VENTILATION IS IMPORTANT, WHAT MUST I DO?

Yes good ventilation is required in terms of the OHSA Directive. Every employer must –

  • keep the workplace well ventilated by natural or mechanical means to reduce the COVID-19 viral load;
  • where reasonably practicable, have an effective local extraction ventilation system with high-efficiency particulate air HEPA filters, which is regularly cleaned and maintained, and ensure vents do not feedback in through open windows;
  • ensure that filters are cleaned and replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions by a competent person.

Part III: Screening and management of positive cases

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WHAT SYMPTOMS IS A BUSINESS REQUIRED TO SCREEN EMPLOYEES FOR WHEN THEY REPORT TO WORK?

Every employer must screen any worker when they report for work in order to ascertain whether they:

  1. have any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 as per the current NICD definition (a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath (or difficulty in breathing), or loss of smell or taste); and
  2. suffer from any of the following additional symptoms: fever, body aches, redness of eyes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea , fatigue, weakness or tiredness ; and

Employers must also reinforce the message that workers must immediately inform the employer if they experience any of the above symptoms while at work.

If employee reports the symptoms in paragraph A. he or she should immediately be provided with a surgical mask and referred to the designated staff at the workplace so that arrangements can be made for COVID-19 testing at the closest testing centre.

Should an employee report any of the additional symptoms in B. he or she should be provided with a surgical mask and referred to the occupational health clinic, family practitioner or primary care clinic for further clinical evaluation and requirement for COVID-19 testing if indicated.

WHAT DO I DO IF A STAFF MEMBER PRESENTS / REPORTS COVID-19 RELATED SYMPTOMS?
  • If a worker presents or reports typical COVID-19 related symptoms do not permit the worker to enter the workplace or report for work.
  • If the worker is already at work:
  1. immediately isolate the worker, provide him/her with a surgical mask and arrange for the worker to be transported in a manner that does not place other workers or members of the public at risk either to be self-isolates or to be referred for a medical examination or testing.
  2. immediately assess the risk of transmission,
  3. disinfect the area and the worker’s station (please see below questions for further guidance on what is appropriate)
  4. undertake contact tracing and refer those workers who may be at risk for screening
  5. take any other appropriate measures to prevent possible transmission.

In both of the above circumstances, the employer must:

  1. inform the Department of Health (using the to the COVID-19 hotline: 0800 02 9999) and the Department of Employment and Labour; and
  2. investigate the mode of exposure including any control failure and review its risk assessment to ensure that the necessary controls and PPE requirements are in place;
  3. determine the need to temporarily close the affected work area for decontamination using an incident-based risk assessment with due regard to the Department of Health’s Guidelines; and
  4. give administrative support to any contact-tracing measures implemented by the Department of Health;
  5. place the worker on paid sick leave, or if sick leave is exhausted, make application for illness benefits from the UIF in terms of the Directive issued on 25 March 2020;
  6. if there is evidence that the worker contracted COVID-19 arising out of and in the course of employment, lodge a claim for compensation in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act; and
  7. ensure that the employee is not discriminated against on grounds of having tested positive for COVID-19.
WHAT MUST I DO IF A WORKER HAS BEEN IN CONTACT WITH ANOTHER WORKER WHO HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19?

If a worker has been in contact in the workplace with another worker who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the employer must assess that worker’s exposure in accordance with the Department of Health’s Guidelines to ascertain whether the exposure carries a high or low risk of transmission between the workers.

  • If there is a low risk of exposure, the employer may permit the worker to continue working using a cloth mask complying with standard precautions and must monitor the worker’s symptoms for 1 days from the first contact.

If there is a high risk of exposure the worker must remain in quarantine for 14 days and the employer of that worker must place the worker on sick leave in accordance with clause 27 .3 for that period.

WHEN CAN I ALLOW A WORKER TO RETURN TO WORK AFTER TESTING POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?

If a worker has been diagnosed with COVID-19 an employer may only allow a worker to return to work on the following conditions:

  1. The worker has completed the mandatory 14 days of self-isolation (we suggest that employers obtain a declaration from the worker that he/she has self-isolated for 14 days and in accordance with the Department of Health Guidelines);
  2. the worker has undergone a medical evaluation confirming fitness to work if the worker had moderate or severe illness;
  3. the employer ensures that personal hygiene, wearing of masks, social distancing, and cough etiquette is strictly adhered to by the worker;
  4. the employer closely monitors the worker for symptoms on return to work; and the worker wears a surgical mask for 21 days from the date of diagnosis.
MUST WE DISINFECT AN AREA OR TO PERFORM DEEP-CLEANING OR FOGGING AFTER A POSITIVE COVID-19 CASE?

The National Department of Health does not recommend fogging instead when an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 disinfection/deep cleaning of the workplace is recommended.

HOW SHOULD A WORKPLACE BE DEEP-CLEANED AFTER A POSITIVE COVID-19 CASE?

The following minimum steps should be followed:

  1. Close off only the affected area and direct work to another clean facility (it is not necessary to close entire business). Close affected area / communal areas until disinfectant vapours have disappeared and all surfaces air-dried.
  2. Wait 24 hours before cleaning. If 24 hours not feasible, wait as long as possible (to minimize exposure to possible viable COVID-19 on surfaces and within suspended air droplets from coughing/sneezing/talking.)
  3. Increase air circulation (open doors/windows/air-con with outside air intake). If no windows available, wait for as long as possible before cleaning.
  4. Clean and disinfect the affected area and all communal areas and equipment by wiping twice with 0.05% (500 ppm) chlorine solution (or once with 0.1%).
  5. You should also ensure that personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn by cleaners and cleaning equipment (e.g. buckets) must be separated from regular cleaning equipment.
  6. Avoid exposure to COVID-19 positive person’s fomites (i.e. pens, computer, eating utensils, dishes).
  7. Flood bodily fluid spillage with 0.5% (5000 ppm) chlorine solution, cover with absorbent material, leave for 30 min before cleaning.
  8. Thereafter, continue routine, everyday cleaning and disinfection practices.
SHOULD I GET AN EXTERNAL CLEANING COMPANY TO CONDUCT DECONTAMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE AND DO I NEED A CERTIFICATE OF CLEANING?

It is not a requirement for a business to contract external specialist company for deep cleaning. A business can make use of trained internal cleaning staff with the effective cleaning processes, appropriate equipment and use of detergents and disinfectants are required.

DO I NEED A CERTIFICATE OF CLEANING?

No, the Department of Health does not require certificates of cleaning.

SHOULD I REPORT ANY ALLEGED, PRESUMED AND CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19?

If a worker has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should inform the Department of Health (0800 002 9999) and the Department of Employment and Labour accordingly. You should also give administrative support to any contact-tracing measures implemented by the Department of Health.

In the event that there is evidence that the worker contracted COVID-19 as a result of “occupational exposure” (thus, in the course and scope of her/his employment), you may lodge a claim for compensation in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993 (COIDA) in order to enable the worker to access applicable benefits available to employees, such as:

  1. leave for temporary disability;
  2. assessment by an occupational medicine specialist in cases of complex disease that may result in permanent disability;
  3. cover of medical expenses for the treatment and testing, as well as permanent disability assessments; and compensation to dependents in case of death.
SHOULD I ALLOW A WORKER TO RETURN TO WORK AFTER TESTING POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?

If a worker has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and isolated in accordance with the Department of Health Guidelines, the worker may only return to work if:

  1. the worker has undergone a medical examination confirming that s/he has been tested negative for COVID-19 after at least 14 days isolation;
  2. the worker wears the minimum of a surgical mask at all times for the remaining period of 21 days from the date of initial testing;
  3. the employer ensures that the worker adheres to social distancing, hygiene and cough etiquette; and
  4. the employer closely monitors the worker for symptoms on return to work.

Part iV: Employee relations

STAY CLOSED MODULE

Schedule of services framework for sectors – look at services allowed for Level 4

WHAT TRAINING AND AWARENESS MUST I CONDUCT WITH MY EMPLOYEES?

Employers have a responsibility to communicate and train its employees. In this regard employers must at a minimum:

  • notify all workers of the contents of the OHSA Directive and the manner in which it intends to implement it;
  • notify its employees that if they are sick or have symptoms associated with COVID-19 that they must not come to work and to take paid sick leave;
  • provide workers with information that raises awareness in any form or manner, including where reasonably practicable leaflets and notices placed in conspicuous places in the workplace informing workers of the dangers of the virus, the manner of its transmission, the measures to prevent transmission such as personal hygiene, social distancing, use of masks, cough etiquette and where to go for screening or testing if presenting with COVID-19 related symptoms
  • ensure that workers are informed, trained , instructed and supervise as to the correct use of cloth masks.
HOW CAN EMPLOYERS ADDRESS STIGMA IN THE WORKPLACE?

Social stigma may be created in labelling, stereotyping, discriminating, and/ or experiencing loss of status because of a perceived link with the COVID-19 disease. It is also important that you, as an employer, do not institute discriminatory practices and that you also make every effort to ensure that your training and awareness campaigns, policies and responses to COVID-19 do not foster social stigma in respect of workers with symptoms of COVID-19.  

You should use your best efforts to create an environment in which COVID-19 can be discussed and addressed openly, honestly, and effectively. When communicating about COVID-19 and your responses thereto as an employer you should carefully consider the use of words and language which may have a negative meaning for workers and may fuel stigmatizing/discriminatory attitudes.

CAN MY EMPLOYEE REFUSE TO WORK DUE TO EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?

An employee may refuse to perform any work if circumstances arise which with reasonable justification appear to that employee or to a health and safety representative to pose an imminent and serious risk of their exposure to COVID-19. No person may advantage or promise to advantage any person for not exercising this right.

WHAT DO I DO IF I NEED FURTHER INFORMATION ON THESE ISSUES?

Additional resources that you may find useful on the Return2Work website include:

You may also contact your industry association and ask them for guidance.

Part V: Other questions

STAY CLOSED MODULE

Schedule of services framework for sectors – look at services allowed for Level 4

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS IN RELATION TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT? During Adjusted Alert Level 3 long distance travel is a trip of 200 km or more.

Bus and taxi services

  • may not carry more than 70 percent of the licensed capacity for long distance travel;
  • may carry 100 percent of the licensed capacity for any trip not regarded as long distance travel .

A driver, owner or operator of public transport may not allow any member of the public who is not wearing a face mask. to board or be conveyed in a public transport owned or operated by him or her.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS WHEN TRAVELLING TO AND FROM SOUTH SOUTH AFRICA ?

Travel to and from South Africa including international travel is allowed  subject to-

  • (a) the traveller providing a valid certificate of a negative test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel and
  • (b)in the event of the traveler’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative test, the traveler will be required to do an antigen test on arrival at his or her own costs; and
  • ( c) in the event of a traveler testing positive for COVID -19, he or she will be required to quarantine him or herself at his or her own cost.
WHAT ARE THE PROTOCOLS FOR THE DAILY COMMUTERS FROM NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES WHO ATTEND OR TEACH AT A SCHOOL IN THE SOUTH AFRICA?
  • Daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend or teach at a school in the

    Republic, and who are allowed entry into and exit from the Republic, subject to compliance with protocols relating to-

    (a) screening for COVID -19 and quarantine or isolation, where necessary;

    (b) the wearing of a face mask;

     (c) transportation; and

    (d) sanitisation and social distancing measures as per the relevant health protocols on safety and prevention of the spread of COVID -19.

WHICH AREAS ARE DECLARED AS HOTSPOTS ?

Province

Districts

Metro

Western Cape

Garden Route

West Coast

Cape Winelands

Central Karoo

Overberg

City of Cape Town

Gauteng

West Rand

City of TshwaneCity of Johannesburg

Eastern Cape

Sarah Baartman

Amathole

Chris Hani

O R Tambo

Alfred Nzo

Nelson Mandela BayBuffalo City

AT WHICH AIRPORTS ARE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS PERMITTED?

International  air travel is only permitted at the   following airports:

(i) OR Tambo International Airport;
(ii) King Shaka International Airport; and
(iii) Cape Town International Airport