COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus. The risk of contracting it is high if you encounter a carrier of the virus. Although older persons and persons with pre-existing conditions are most at risk at being adversely affected by the virus, all persons are at risk of carrying the virus.
Our message is: THIS IS NOT A DRILL. TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.
Where processes are conducted, these are our guidelines:
1. If you feel ill, do not come to the process. Inform the representative or Tokiso immediately.
2. Avoid common physical greeting methods, including shaking hands, ‘fist-bumping’ and hugging.
3. Rooms must be large enough so that there is at least one metre distance between participants.
4. Bring tissues to the process and make it available to all participants.
5. If lunch is provided, this should not be on a shared plate, but provided in separate packaging for each person, and all animal products must be properly cooked.
6. Provide separate bundle of documents for each person in the room (no sharing of documents). Consider scanning in and persons accessing documents on a screen.
7. Attendance registers should be taken verbally by the panellist and completed on behalf of parties by the panellist to avoid the sharing of the document.
8. Consider starting the process with a quick checklist to reinforce steps to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. This could also be shared with HR prior to the process, as well as in the process itself. The proposed checklist is:
8.1. If you are to sneeze or cough, use your elbow to cover your mouth, or a tissue which you dispose of immediately.
82. Use alcohol-based soaps to wash your hands, and rigorous washing should be for at least 20 seconds. [Check whether this is provided in the process room and in the bathrooms]
8.3. Avoid touching your face.
8.4. Do not share documents, stationary or any other item in the room.
8.5. Wipe down your cellular phone and your laptop computer with alcohol wipes regularly.
8.6. Parties should avoid shared food platters as well as water jugs and glasses. Rather use eco-friendly water bottles.
8.7. The venue should be cleaned with proper detergents between each sitting of the process.
8.8. If you feel ill in the hearing, inform everyone immediately and call the hotline if you feel you may have been exposed to the coronavirus – 080 002 9999 – or your medical practitioner.
9. If parties feel that they are particularly at risk, consider alternative process options, including:
9.1. Use conferencing facilities. Please see Tokiso’s guidelines on conferencing options for processes.
9.2. Make submissions on paper rather than at a hearing.
9.3. Consider facilities which reduce the risk of transmission, such as offices which have the necessary cleaning support services and there are separate rooms for parties, if required. Tokiso has taken precautionary measures at its offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
10. If you contract COVID-19 within 21 days of a process taking place, please contact Tokiso immediately so that the other participants can be informed on an agreed basis with you. Your privacy is important to us.