Africa

Coronavirus: South Africans exercise the freedom to jog

Person boxing Image copyright AFP

South Africans have been taking advantage of a slight easing in the tough lockdown restrictions by taking to the streets to get exercise.

Five weeks ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa imposed strict measures, including a ban on jogging, cycling and dog-walking, to try and contain the spread of coronavirus.

Employees in certain industries have also been allowed to go back to work.

The president has said his policies have delayed the spread of the virus.

South Africa recorded its first coronavirus case on 5 March. Seven weeks later there are more than 5,000 confirmed cases and 103 deaths - a much slower spread than seen in some other countries.

People are now allowed out to exercise between 06:00 and 09:00, but only a few kilometres from their home.

Photographers caught some people out in Johannesburg.

A group of joggers Image copyright AFP
Person doing fitness training Image copyright AFP
Woman training on the street Image copyright AFP

People have been allowed to walk their dogs for the first time in five weeks.

Two people walking a dog Image copyright AFP

Joggers were also spotted near the Union Buildings, the president's office in the capital, Pretoria.

Person jogging Image copyright AFP

On the coast, in Cape Town, people came out in the early morning mist.

Joggers in the mist Image copyright Reuters

Dog-walkers could also be seen on the sea front.

A dog in the foreground at the sea front Image copyright Reuters

But the crowds soon built up, leading some to express concern that social distancing rules were not being observed.

People walking Image copyright Reuters

South Africans have been advised to wear face masks in public and police officers have been seen telling people to put them on.

A policewoman shows someone how to put their mask on Image copyright AFP

And thousands more soldiers have been deployed to make sure that the continued restrictions are being respected.

A soldier talks to a man in the street Image copyright AFP

The controversial ban on alcohol and cigarette sales will remain in place, as well as some of the other tight restrictions and people are still being encouraged to stay at home.

There is also a night-time curfew.

But there is a recognition of the economic damage that a prolonged lockdown could do and people in manufacturing and construction are being allowed back to work.

Restaurants and fast food outlets can now operate but only through deliveries.

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