Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published the official alert level 2 lockdown regulations for South Africa.
The directive comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will ease its lockdown restrictions from midnight on Monday (17 August).
While Ramaphosa has announced most of the prominent changes, the directive provides further clarity on a number of issues and makes the change to level 2 official.
Notably, the directive does not make any mention around the sale of tobacco products, although this may be clarified in a later set of regulations.
The most prominent changes are outlined below.
Curfew and masks
- Every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 22h00 until 04h00 daily, except where a person has been granted a permit or is attending to a security or medical emergency;
- A person must when in a public place, wear a face mask; and may not be allowed to be in a public place, use any form of public transport, or enter a public building, place or premises, if that person is not wearing a face mask.
All gatherings are prohibited except a gathering at:
- A social event at a place of residence, subject to a limitation of 10 visitors or less;
- A faith-based institution, which is limited to 50 persons or less, depending on the size of the place of worship;
- Attendance at a funeral is limited to 50 persons and will not be regarded as a prohibited gathering;
- A workplace for work purposes;
- Theatres, concerts and live performances, subject to a limitation of 50 persons or less;
- Casinos, subject to a restriction on the number of persons allowed in the casino to not more than 50 percent of the available floor space.
- Weddings, subject to a limitation of 50 persons,
- Events at function venues, subject to a limitation of 50 persons, and directions issued by the relevant Cabinet member.
Open to the public
The directive states that the following places which are open to the public, subject to all persons wearing face masks and strict adherence to all health protocols and social distancing measure:
- Fitness centres and gyms, further subject to a limitation of 50 persons or less;
- Sports grounds and fields;
- Swimming pools, further subject to a limitation of 50 persons or less;
- Beaches and public parks;
- Museums, galleries, libraries and archives;
- Personal care services, including hairdressing, beauty treatments, make -up and nails salons and piercing and tattoo parlours;
- Bars, taverns, shebeens, and similar establishments, further subject to a limitation of 50 persons or less;
- Al accommodation establishments and tour operators, subject to a restriction on the number of persons allowed in such establishments to not more than 50% of the available floor space.
The directive states that night clubs remain closed to the public.
Alcohol and tobacco
The sale of liquor by licensed premises for off-consumption, is permitted from 09h00 to 17h00, from Mondays to Thursdays, excluding Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays;
A licensed premises may also sell for on-site consumption, subject to strict adherence to the curfew.
In terms of tobacco, the sale of tobacco products has been removed from the list of economic exclusions.
Bus and taxi services – may not carry more than 70% of the licensed capacity for long distance travel.
However, they may carry 100% of the licensed capacity for any trip not regarded as long-distance travel.
A driver, owner or operator of public transport may not allow any member of the public not wearing a face mask, to board or be conveyed in a public transport owned or operated by him or her.
Warning from the President
Writing in his weekly open letter to the nation, Ramaphosa said that the country must urgently focus its efforts on recovery, but warned that a move to a lower level is not a ‘free for all’.
“It is a sign of the progress we are making in reducing new infections and demand on our health facilities. It is also a very important development as we strive to restart our economy. But it is too soon to celebrate,” he said.
Ramaphosa said that country is ‘still very much in the middle of a deadly pandemic’ that has claimed 11,000 lives in South Africa alone.
At more than half a million confirmed cases, the country has the fifth-highest number of infections globally, and there is always a chance of a resurgence of the disease, he said.
“If we ever need a stark reminder of the need for vigilance, we should look to recent events thousands of kilometres away in New Zealand.
“Three months since the country was declared coronavirus-free, New Zealand is once again under lockdown. Although the latest outbreak was of relatively few cases, the government swiftly re-imposed lockdown restrictions.”
Ramaphosa said that similar restrictions have had to be reimposed in several parts of Europe as they experience a ‘second wave’ of infections.
“We now need to manage this risk and ensure the gains we have made thus far in containing the pandemic’s spread are not reversed. The greatest threat to the health of nation right now is complacency.
“It may be that we are now permitted to meet friends and family, to visit entertainment venues, to travel for leisure and to consume alcohol in restaurants, bars and taverns.
“But as the old adage goes, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
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