South Africa is currently under a COVID-19 lockdown for a period of 21 days until midnight on 16 April 2020. The lockdown involves significant restrictions of movement.
However, SARAO operates two National Key Points (the SKA site and HartRAO) and is obliged to secure, operate and maintain these sites. In terms of the regulations gazetted to manage the lockdown, employees critical in terms of these functions have been granted special dispensation to travel to relevant sites when necessary. All other SARAO employees have been directed to work from home. No visitors will be allowed on any SARAO site at least until the end of the lockdown period.
On 18th March SARAO began implementing a Plan of Action to address the emerging COVID-19 risks and developed a tailored business continuity plan. This plan is consistent with the current lockdown regulations. We ask that our stakeholders continue to communicate with their usual points of contact at SARAO to determine how the lockdown may affect ongoing and coming interactions.
We in SARAO intend to play our part in containing the spread of the pandemic and in safeguarding our employees while also ensuring business continuity of our operations.
I hope you and your families all stay safe during this challenging period.
Managing Director: SA Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)