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South Africa amends lockdown regulations, allows travel for funerals but only with a permit

by Staff reporter
02 Apr 2020 at 12:33hrs | Views
South Africa's Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has amended the regulations governing the Covid-19 lockdown, allowing for travel between cities and provinces specifically for those attending funerals.

Dlamini-Zuma noted the amendments in a government gazette on Thursday.

To apply for a permit, people will need to fill out a form, listed as Form 2 in the gazette, and present the deceased's death certificate or a certified copy thereof. It is still unclear whether this included cross border travel as well.

If a death certificate is not yet available, the applicant will be required to make a sworn affidavit.

The regulations come with several restrictions, including barring travellers from staying with relatives or friends for the duration of the funeral.

Last week, the High Court in Mpumalanga dismissed an application by a man who wanted to be granted permission to attend his grandfather's funeral in the Eastern Cape.

The updated regulations stipulate that only the following people, in relation to the deceased, may attend the funeral:

    a spouse or partner;
    a child of the deceased, whether biological, adopted or stepchild;
    a child-in-law of the deceased;
    a parent, whether biological, adopted or stepparent;
    a sibling, whether biological, adopted or stepbrother or sister;
    a grandparent;
    or a person closely affiliated to the deceased.

The regulations define a "person closely affiliated to the deceased" as "a person with parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the deceased" or "a person who had developed a significant relationship based on caregiving, psychological or emotional attachment to the deceased".

Applying for a travel permit

While the regulations allow for travel between cities, districts and provinces, mourners who want to attend a burial or cremation will first need to apply for a permit from a magistrate "who is the head of office" or from a station commander at a police station.

To apply for a permit, people will need to fill out a form, listed as Form 2 in the gazette, and present the deceased's death certificate or a certified copy thereof.

If a death certificate is not yet available, the applicant will be required to make a sworn affidavit.

The regulations come with several restrictions, including barring travellers from staying with relatives or friends for the duration of the funeral.

They will be allowed to stay at a hotel, lodge or a guest house and will need to present their permit to the owner or staff.

Successful applicants will not be allowed to stay in the area of the funeral for more than 48 hours.

Source - news24

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