Government has made a number of changes to South Africa’s level 3 lockdown regulations, with more likely on the way.
On Friday (26 June), the minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma published a new directive outlining the country’s ‘advanced’ level 3 lockdown regulations.
A number of ministers have subsequently announced changes to their various sectors, including the reopening of a number of business sectors.
These changes are outlined in more detail below.
Tourism minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has outlined the following rules that restaurants will need to follow when they reopen on Monday (29 June):
- Restaurants are required to conduct a screening questionnaire on guests. Restaurants may refuse admission if they deem a guest is a safety risk;
- No person may enter the premises without a cloth mask or any homemade item that covers the nose and mouth;
- Masks must be worn at all times except where eating and drinking;
- All guests must sanitise before entering the premises;
- There must be a distance of at least 1.5 metres between the customer and the point-of-sale serving counter. The same distance will also apply to queuing customers and between queues at different till points;
- Customers should also be seated 1.5 metres apart;
- Restaurants should consider a reservation system where possible to manage demand and ensure capacity limits;
- No self-service buffets are allowed;
- Menus must be replaced with non-touch options or sanitised after each use;
- Tables must be sanitised before and after each guest;
- Where possible and while taking orders, waiting staff should stand at least a metre from the table.
Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced that casinos can also reopen, subject to the following rules:
- The number of persons entering a casino shall not be more than 50% based on the available floor space of the gambling floor;
- Casinos shall ensure compliance with the requirement relating to physical distancing, which is at least 1.5 metres;
- Casinos are required to keep a daily record of the full details of all employees, delivery agents and customers;
- Casinos are required to conduct a screening questionnaire for every guest. After screening, where necessary, they may isolate a person in a facility designated for isolation within their premises;
- No person shall be allowed into premises if that person is not wearing a cloth mask or homemade item that covers the nose and mouth;
- Guests must wear masks at all times except when eating or drinking;
- Frequently sanitise guests during their stay in the premises or provide guests with sanitisers for frequent use;
- Maintain at least a distance of one and a half meters between open machines;
- Sanitise all machine and other surfaces touched after every use, or provide guests with sanitisers to sanitise the surface that they will occupy and touch.
Conference and meetings
Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said that conference and meeting venus can reopen, subject to the following rules:
- The number of persons entering a conference and meeting venue shall not be more than 50 people;
- Conference and meetings shall ensure compliance with the requirement relating to physical distancing, which is at least one and a half meters;
- These venues must keep a daily record of the full details of all employees, delivery agents and attendees;
- Conduct a screening questionnaire for every delegate in the format of the form issues with published guidelines;
- Set up screening stations before or after entrances, at the front of queues to facilitate the screening of delegates at each and every entry;
- After screening, where necessary, isolate a person in a facility within their premises designated for isolation;
- No person shall be allowed onto a premises, if that person is not wearing a cloth mask or homemade item that covers the nose and mouth;
- Delegates must wear masks at all times except when eating or drinking;
- Sanitise delegates before entering into the premises;
- Frequently sanitise guests during their stay in the premises or provide guests with sanitisers for frequent use;
- Only individual water and individual mints condiments will be provided. The use of containers or bowls is prohibited;
- Sanitise microphone and podium after use by every person;
- Designate a seat for each delegate and not allow a delegate to change the seat.
Resumption of sports
Further to the announcement of the approval for the resumption of football activities last week, minister of sport, arts and culture, Nathi Mthethwa, announced the resumption of training and matches for the following sport bodies:
- Cricket SA;
- South African Anglers and Casting Confederation;
- SA Gymnastics Federation;
- Tennis SA;
- SA National Climbing Federation;
- Canoeing SA;
- Swimming SA.
Tracking and tracing
As part of her directive on Friday, Dlamini-Zuma introduced a number of changes to government’s coronavirus tracking and tracing capabilities. These include:
- The use of ‘geospatial hotspot mapping’ for tracking and tracing purposes;
- The Department of Health can develop and implement electronic systems or applications to be used on mobile devices or computers in order to collect, on a voluntary basis, information from members of the public for inclusion in the Covid-19 database;
- To obtain the necessary consent from the user of the mobile device or computer, the terms and conditions of the electronic system or application must explain and request the user’s express consent on a number of issues, including which information will be collected and how it will be stored.
Exercise and continued restrictions
Dlamini-Zuma also clarified the issue of exercising in groups in her directive.
The rules have been updated to allow for exercise between the hours of 06h00 to 18h00, provided that the exercise is not done in organised groups of more than four people, and adheres to health protocols and social distancing measures.
The directive also indicates that the following restrictions will remain in place:
- Gyms and fitness centres remain closed;
- Sports grounds and fields and swimming pools remain closed, except for training of professional athletes and non -contact sports matches as referred to in regulation and contact sports for training only;
- Fêtes and bazaars remain closed;
- Night clubs remain closed;
- Accommodation establishments not formally accredited and licensed, such as private homes for paid leisure accommodation (ie, Airbnb) remain closed;
- Conference facilities remain closed, except for business use;
- Any on-consumption premises, including bars, taverns, shebeens and similar establishments remain closed;
- Beaches and public parks remain closed.
New airports open
While more local airports will be allowed to operate for domestic flights from 1 July, all international passenger flights are prohibited except those flights authorised by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, and only for repatriation of South African citizens and medical evacuation.
Mbalula made this and other announcements related to the aviation industry during a virtual meeting on Monday.
Some regulations on domestic flights were eased, however, with certain conditions.
Mbalula said in addition to the original four airports that are currently operating, the following domestic airports will reopen from 1 July: Bram Fischer International Airport; Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport; Pietermaritzburg Airport; Port Elizabeth International Airport; Richards Bay Airport; Skukuza Airport; and Upington International Airport.
“It has been three weeks since the OR Tambo, King Shaka, Cape Town and Lanseria International airports have been opened for domestic passenger travel.
“Following the announcement of phase 1 domestic operations, the airports and airlines submitted their Standard Operating Procedures to the South African Civil Aviation Authority [SACAA] for approval and this was followed by compliance inspections conducted by the Regulator to all four airports. My team and I visited OR Tambo International Airport and Lanseria for a readiness walk-about and we were satisfied that the airports were ready for operation,” the minister said.
In addition to passenger flights, all aerial work to conduct the following will be permitted from 1 July: Agricultural spraying, seeding and dusting; cloud spraying, seeding and dusting; culling; construction; aerial harvesting; aerial patrol, observation and survey; aerial advertisement, including banner towing and other towing of objects; search and rescue; parachuting; aerial recording by photographic or electronic means; fire spotting, control and fighting; and spraying, seeding or dusting other than for agricultural purposes and clouds.
Mbalula said general aviation is permitted for the following purposes: Approved regional repositioning flights for all South African and foreign registered aircraft into and from South Africa for return after maintenance and repair, to perform maintenance and repair or to continue with contractual work within South Africa or foreign countries within the region; exchanging of crew members operating in foreign countries as and when required; and transporting of aviation technicians, mechanics and engineers internationally for essential support and assistance to aircraft.
Proficiency flights will be allowed, provided that the flight is authorised by the SACAA and remains within the general flying area, airfield or airport boundaries.
Recreational aviation is also permitted for proficiency flights, provided that the flight is authorised by the SACAA and remains within the general flying area, airfield or airport boundaries.
“All these measures are in line with the gradual reopening of our economy, as we enter a new normal and journey together, towards a healthier, safer and more prosperous South Africa,” Mbalula said.
“As more airports are opened, this will naturally increase the number of passengers at airports and therefore measures have been put in place to ensure that passengers are prepared for their experience at the airports to avoid congestion mainly at security checkpoints. While this works perfectly at the airports currently, it will need to be managed properly as we open for more activity.
“Sanitisers are classified as dangerous goods and the SACAA has made provision for the carrying of such in limited quantities as a safety measure and in compliance with existing regulations.”
Mbalula said for the efficient facilitation of passengers at airports, the operators have urged the flying community to arrive at least two hours early to allow for sufficient time to process passengers at the airports while adhering to the screening requirements as per the Department of Health regulations.
“The SACAA has also reviewed its earlier decision of ‘no catering’ on board an aircraft by permitting airlines to provide pre-packed meals that must be placed in front of the seat for each passenger before the passenger boards the aircraft. This will allow for minimised movement during flight.”
Internationally, the airline industry is anticipating $550 billion in losses by the end of the year. Locally, it is not much better off, with South African airlines set to lose some R55 billion in revenue and over 250 000 jobs are on the line.
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