Official rule for how many people may travel in a car during lockdown

March 27, 2020
March 27, 2020 Tumelo Moloi

The Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has published amendments to South Africa’s lockdown regulations.

These amendments clarified a number of key points for businesses and individuals, including how many people may travel in a car during the lockdown period.

Police Minister Bheki Cele previously explained that a four-seater car, like a sedan, should not carry more than two people.

He added that a larger vehicle which can carry up to eight people should not carry more than three people.

These guidelines were aimed at creating space between passengers to adhere to social distancing measures.

The new Cogta guidelines have now clarified this issue:

Private vehicles shall not carry more than 60% of the licensed capacity, and that all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and the limitation of exposure of persons to COVID-19, are adhered to.

This means that a five-person vehicle like a sedan can carry up to three people, while a larger car which can carry eight people should not exceed five people.

Very few cars on the road

South Africans are required to stay at home during the lockdown, except for those involved in the provision of essential services.

South Africans are only allowed to leave their homes to buy food and medicine, to seek medical attention, and to collect a social grant.

Many South Africans are adhering to these requirements. The N1 freeway between Pretoria and Johannesburg was empty this morning as South Africa’s 21-day nationwide lockdown started.

Driving along the N1 north and south around the Centurion and Midrand area at 09:00 today saw traffic levels as low as you would expect early on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

A handful of trucks were driving in either direction, along with a small number of passenger vehicles. Traffic police and other law enforcement vehicles were also seen driving along the freeway.

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