Massive queues at banks and ATMs with little social distancing have been flagged as potential COVID-19 super spreaders and banks have now been instructed to provide sanitisers at all their cash machines.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that during the festive season people were at risk as they queued mostly at ATMs with no sanitisation in sight.
South Africa is in the grip of a second wave of the pandemic which has seen more than 5,000 COVID-19 related deaths since the beginning of this year.
One of the new level 3 amendments gazetted by government speaks to the long queues seen at some of the banks and their ATMs.
Minister Dlamini-Zuma said that the new regulation called for the provision of sanitisers at every ATM, warning that they could easily become a source of mass infections.
“If one person has COVID-19 and leaves it on the machine, the others start queueing there are start using the machine, it’s a problem.”
Dlamini-Zuma said that the banks, like other institutions, had a responsibility to provide sanitisers in order to protect those who used their facilities.