South Africans brace for 21-day lockdown as virus cases rise

People across South Africa are bracing for a 21-day lockdown after the government announced sweeping new measures to tackle the spread of the new coronavirus.  

"From midnight on Thursday, March 26 until midnight on Thursday, April 16, all South Africans will have to stay at home," President Cyril Ramaphosa said late on Monday in a televised address to the nation.

Health workers, emergency personnel and security services will be allowed to work, while soldiers will be deployed to patrol the streets in support of the police.

Regarding transportation services:


  • All international and domestic flights are prohibited, irrespective of the risk category of the country of origin.  
  • Only essential air cargo will be allowed.  However, cargo from a high risk country must be sanitized.



  • Essential cargo will be allowed at our 8 Sea Ports.  However, cargo from high-risk countries must be sanitized.


Sources: Al-Jazeera, The Government of South Africa


The following items are categorized as 'essential' and will be permitted for movement during the lockdown: Food products, Cleaning and Hygiene Products, Chemicals used in the production of essential goods, Medical equipment, Fuel, including coal and gas; and Basic goods.

BDP International is closely working with our agent in South Africa to assess the impact of the lockdown, but please keep in mind that the transportation of chemicals used in the production of essential goods is not restricted.