CAPE TOWN - Stringent hygiene etiquette in malls will become the new norm, that's according to Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo.
The Western Cape Health Department has identified shopping malls as bushfires or hotspots where coronavirus is spreading.
Over 400 infections, emanating from those sites, have been recorded in the province so far.
The department's held a roadshow to address concerns around coronavirus and retailers, as well as the public's failure to comply with lockdown regulations.
Lockdown rules have shoppers queueing sometimes for hours but social distancing in stores with minimum shoppers is in their best interest.
Shop owners are being fingered as the root of the problem.
"If you are a contact of that positive case based on the definition the department of health would have provided to the shop owner and also to those who are affected that you have to be quarantined for 14 days you cannot use those workers,” Mbombo said.
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“We had some engagements with some shop owners who wanted to continue with those ones who had tested negative but if the definition is that you would have been a close contact you cannot."
Many shoppers say they have no choice but to visit those places despite the health risk.
The Western Cape is now the epicentre of COVID-19 in the country.
Infection and death rates are expected to rise as some retailers and shoppers continue to disobey lockdown regulations.