We at BLC Attorneys trust that all of our clients and the public at large are continuing with their efforts to remain safe and healthy as we enter the 10th week of the national lockdown.

We confirm that our offices have been open since 4 May 2020 and that our office hours are currently 8am – 2pm from Monday to Friday. Our office has a strict COVID-19 work control policy in place to ensure the safety of all our staff members and clients attending at our offices.

Some of the main practices that have been implemented at our offices are as follows: all staff members and clients of the firm will be required to enter the building through the front door wearing a mask, sanitise their hands and undergo a health screening check upon entering the building. Each staff member and client will also be required to register their attendance at the workplace in a register book that will be in one of the front reception consultation rooms.

Clients will only be permitted access to the BLC premises if they have a pre-arranged confirmed appointment. In this regard you can contract any director or our receptionist on 041 5063700 to arrange an appointment.

Staff members and clients with COVID-19 like-symptoms, including a mild cough or a low-grade fever (37.5°C or more) will be identified, tested, and are required to stay at home. Hand sanitiser dispensers will be placed at strategic points throughout our offices. Regular use of the sanitiser before and after handling any paper, files, envelopes, and any communal equipment is compulsory. Further, all staff members are aware to sanitise keyboards, telephones, desk areas, handrails, doorknobs throughout the day.  Staff members are also encouraged to regularly wash their hands with hot water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds.

The latest Regulations to the Disaster Management Act, 57 of 2002, have been published to provide guidance to the public in terms of Alert Level 3 and will apply nationally from 1 June 2020. Some of the most important developments brought about by the implementation of Alert Level 3 are as follows:

  • Nelson Mandela Bay, together with other metros around the country, has been identified as a hotspot for COVID-19. This means that extra care must be taken by every person living in and around Nelson Mandela Bay to continue with strict compliance with social distancing and other health and safety measures to contain the spread of COVID-19;
  • Movement of persons – exercise between the hours of 06h00 to 18h00 is allowed, provided that the exercise is not done in organised groups and adheres to health practices and social distancing measures;
  • A person may also leave their place of residence to attend a place of worship in the same or another metropolitan area or district within the same province, which gathering is limited to 50 persons or less, and attend a school or learning institution once these are opened;
  • Prohibition on evictions – a competent court may grant an order for the eviction of a person from their land or home in terms of relevant legislation, provided that an order of eviction may be stayed and suspended until the last day of Alert Level 3, unless a court decides that it is not just and equitable to stay and suspend the order until the last day of the Alert Level 3 period;
  • Places and premises which remain closed to the public include beaches, public parks, theatres and cinemas, gyms and fitness centres, night clubs, bazaars, casinos, and conference facilities;
  • Sports grounds and field and swimming pools are to remain closed, except for the training of professional athletes and professional non-contact sports matches;
  • Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities and resorts and guest houses are to remain closed, except to the extent that these facilities are required for accommodation by remaining tourists confined to such facilities, persons for work purposes and persons in quarantine or isolation;
  • The sale of liquor from any licenced premises (whether an on-consumption or off-consumption licenced premises) or through e-commerce delivery is permitted only from Monday to Thursday between the hours of 09h00 t0 17h00. Please note that the consumption of liquor at a licenced premises itself is prohibited;
  • The sale of liquor is prohibited on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays and the sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products remain prohibited, except for export purposes;
  • On site consumption of food and beverages at a place of sale, including restaurants and retail outlets, remain prohibited;
  • Personal care services, including hairdressing, beauty treatments, make-up and nail salons remain prohibited; and
  • Individuals who do not comply with the regulations commit an offence and are liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such a fine and imprisonment.

Please stay tuned to our Facebook page for regular articles and updates related to COVID-19 and contact our offices on 041 506 3700 should you have any queries or concerns regarding the impact that COVID-19 has had on your workplace or business.

Author: Blaine Saunders