February 2021 lockdown level 3: what you must know

Beaches, churches, and other parts of life return to normal.

 Image: Louis van Niekerk.

South Africans may go back to the beach, the bar, and back to their places of worship. These and other activities may resume in terms of South Africa’s newly gazetted lockdown regulations. Professional sporting venues are open, but gatherings at these venues remain prohibited.

While schools are expected to reopen on February 15, the Minister of Basic Education has been given the express authority to revisit the issue if it is considered necessary to curb the spreading of Covid-19.

These developments followed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation yesterday (February 1, 2021). Shortly prior, the country received one million Covishield vaccine doses.

In the 11 months since South Africa’s first Covid-19 patient was diagnosed, 44 399 have died. After a recent ‘second wave’ of rapidly rising infection rates, a considerable decline was followed by yesterday’s relaxation of government’s lockdown regulations. Caxton Local Media summarises what you must know.

  • Basic rules of thumb such as social distancing, sanitising and the implementation of health protocols always apply.
  • It remains compulsory for every person to wear a mask when in public.

Curfew and Essential Services Permit

The curfew applies from 23:00 until 04:00, except when you have been authorised to be out during the curfew period by a cabinet member, or if you have the correct permit with you, indicating that you are performing an essential service. Essential service permit available here. In terms of the newly gazetted regulations anyone who needs to travel to or from an airport to either catch or return from a flight may do so. They will need to have their ticket or boarding pass with them.

Planning a day trip or a night out? Cinemas, theatres, casinos, museums, galleries, archives, auctioneering venues, restaurants, and establishments offering wine and brew tastings must be closed by 22:00. The same goes for game parks, botanical gardens, aquariums, and zoos. Public parks have now reopened and are subjected to the same hours. Night clubs remain closed.

A day at the beach or a trip to the dam Whereas surfers were previously unable to hit the waves, they may now do so as beaches are officially open. Dams, lakes and rivers, and all recreational facilities at these places have reopened. The rules of sufficient space apply.

Image: Louis van Niekerk.

Sport and exercise

Although venues hosting professional sport may be open, the president indicated last night that gatherings at sports grounds remain prohibited. Gyms and fitness centres will now close at 22:00. The same applies to public swimming pools, which have now reopened.  These venues must apply the rules of sufficient space.

Faith-based  gatherings

Faith-based gatherings were previously banned, but are now allowed, subject to strict social distancing, sanitising and health care protocols being followed. Again, the rules of sufficient space apply. Social and political gatherings remain prohibited, as do traditional council meetings. The position on funerals and international travel regulations remains unchanged. 

Sale, dispensing and transportation of liquor

Licensed retailers selling liquor may do so from Mondays to Thursdays between 10:00 and 18:00. Venues authorised to provide liquor for on-site consumption may do so between 10:00 and 22:00. According to the regulations, the above does not apply to duty-free shops. During his address last night, the President explained that duty-free shops, registered wineries, wine farms, microbreweries and microdistilleries will be able to sell alcohol for off-site consumption during their usual licensed operating hours. Liquor may still not be transported. The following activities remain prohibited.

Image: Louis van Niekerk.

Notice: Coronavirus reporting by Kormorant in partnership with Caxton Local Media aims to combat fake news.

Dear reader,

As your local news provider, we have the duty of keeping you factually informed on Covid-19 developments. As you may have noticed, mis- and disinformation (also known as “fake news”) is circulating online. Kormorant is determined to filter through the masses of information doing the rounds and to separate truth from untruth in order to keep you adequately informed. Kormorant follows a strict pre-publication fact-checking protocol. A national task team has been established to assist in bringing you credible news reports on Covid-19.
Readers with any comments or queries may contact Kormorant editor Deon van Huizen (deon@kormorant.co.za), National Group Editor Irma Green (irma@caxton.co.za) or Legal Adviser Helene Eloff (helene@caxton.co.za).

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