South Africa has moved from an Adjusted Level 3 lockdown to Level 1.
Today marks South Africa’s 340th day of lockdown. A year ago, the country’s Patient Zero arrived in South Africa after having been to Italy, where he contracted Covid-19. Two weeks later, the country declared a National State of Disaster. On March 27, 2020, South Africa’s lockdown was implemented for the first time.
Our movements and activities were severely restricted to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Restrictions have been relaxed. Caxton Local Media summarises what you must know.
Basic rules of thumb: the regulations indicate that basic rules of thumb such as social distancing, sanitising, wearing of masks and the implementation of health protocols always apply to those who go out in public.
Curfew and Essential Services Permit
The new curfew applies from 00:00 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 permit in Form 7 of Annexure A with you, indicating that you are performing an essential service.
Any person who needs to travel to or from an airport will be allowed to do so if he or she has a valid boarding pass or airline ticket with him.
The term “gathering” describes a group of persons gathering together.
All owners or operators of facilities where gatherings are held must display the venue’s certificate of occupancy which sets out the maximum number of persons the facility may hold.
- Faith-based, religious, social, political and cultural gatherings are permitted.
- Gatherings at a workplace for work purposes are allowed.
- Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities, resorts and guest houses are allowed to operate using all available rooms. Patrons must always observe social distancing when in common spaces.
- Conferencing, dining and entertainment facilities may operate subject to the rule of sufficient space being applied. The same goes for businesses such as supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies and produce markets.
The rule of sufficient space dictates that these gatherings are limited to 100 persons or less for indoor venues and 250 persons or less for outdoor venues. If a venue is too small to hold the prescribed number of persons observing a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other, then not more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used, subject to strict adherence to all health protocols and social distancing measures.
Liquor sales by licensed premises for on- and off-site consumption are permitted. Alcohol may be transported.
Closing time for the following establishments, whether indoor or outdoors, is 23:00:
- Cinemas, theatres, casinos, museums, galleries, and archives;
- Public swimming pools, beaches and public parks;
- Game parks, botanical gardens, aquariums, and zoos;
- Gyms and fitness centres, restaurants, auction venues, professional sporting venues; and
- Venues hosting faith-based, religious, social, political and cultural gatherings.
Night clubs remain closed to the public
Those who exercise vigorously in a public place do not have to wear masks, as long as social distancing is maintained.
The regulations indicate that sporting activities, including both professional and non-professional matches, by recognised sporting bodies are allowed. Spectators will not be able to attend matches. Only the required number of players, match officials, support staff and medical crew required at the sports match, will be allowed at the venue.
In addition to that, journalists, radio and television crews, security personnel, emergency medical services, and the necessary employees employed by the owners of the sporting venue are allowed. The Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, and the Minister Health, will issue further directions on sports gatherings.
International sports events involving countries with a low or medium Covid-19 infection and transmission rate will be allowed.
The latest regulations permit initiation practices. Organisers must submit a risk-adjusted plan to cabinet prior to hosting any such practices.
Post-initiation celebrations (“imigidi “) are permitted. The rule of sufficient space applies.
Eviction and demolition of places of residence
No person may be evicted from their land or home, or have their place of residence demolished if such eviction or demolition has not been ordered by a competent court. The regulations make provision for the suspension of such orders while the state of disaster persists.
The Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999 established Rental Housing Tribunals to deal with rental disputes across the country. In terms of the regulations, these tribunals must determine fair procedures for urgent hearings. Where a lessee has been deprived of occupation of a dwelling, a tribunal may grant an urgent ex parte spoliation order to restore the lessee occupation.
Children under the age of six years will not be denied access to public places if they are not wearing face masks. However, doing so is still advised.
No funeral may be attended by more than 100 people. If the venue is too small to hold the prescribed number of persons observing a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other, no more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used.
Night vigils remain prohibited, as are after-tears gatherings. No funeral may last more than two hours.
Controlled visits to prisons, hospitals and other venues
The public’s visits to correctional centres, remand detention facilities, police holding cells, military detention facilities, health establishments and facilities, and older persons’ residential facilities, will be permitted to the extent directed by the relevant cabinet member.
The Independent Electoral Commission will be allowed to visit these institutions where required for purposes of voter registration or special voting.
District municipalities must alert communities where increasing infection rates could lead to any district being declared as a hotspot. Areas with high infection rates must be published on municipality websites and in the local media.
All businesses and entities must have designated Covid-19 compliance officers, these persons must ensure strict adherence to hygiene and health protocols relating to Covid-19 at the workplace. Retailers must ensure that social distancing is enforced – a minimum of one and a half metres distance must be kept between patrons at all times.
The 33 land border posts that have been closed throughout lockdown level 3 will remain closed, while the other 20 will remain open. Five airports will be open for international travel with standard infection control measures. They are OR Tambo, Cape Town, King Shaka, Kruger Mpumalanga and Lanseria airports.
Specific economic exclusions
In the latest regulations, the following economic activities are listed under ‘specific exclusions.’ This means that these activities remain prohibited.
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