10 August 2020
Cell C and Vodacom have opened their stores under strict Covid-19 level four regulations, according to reports in South Africa.
Telecoms was classified under essential services from the beginning of the lockdown, but shops were not open when the stringent measures to reduce the spread of the virus were introduced in March.
However, in early May, the government peeled back restrictions on some industries, which also included the opening of stores owned by mobile operators.
Cell C said it commenced opening its retail outlets in stages from May 1st in line with the relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown measures from level five to level four. Over 96% of its stores are now open.
“The safety and wellbeing of our staff and customers is our main focus during this time,” says Cell C acting chief operating officer Andre Ittmann.
“We urge customers and employees to please adhere to the safety measures put in place and to keep themselves safe,” he said. “We will continue to assess these measures to ensure the highest standards are maintained.”
The stores are, however, trading within limited periods (9am to 5pm on weekdays and 9am to 1pm on weekends). Vodacom said it is servicing many of its customers using various independent retail outlets, most of which have opened their doors in line with level four requirements.
“The safety and protection of our employees remains of utmost importance and all of our stores will continue to follow strict hygiene and social distancing practices,” said a company spokesperson. During this time, we will further ensure the necessary PPE (including masks) are available for staff and that we fully comply with government directives,” said a Vodacom spokesperson.
Meanwhile, MTN resumed some of its activities last week “subject to extreme precautions to limit community transmission and outbreaks”.