Tag Archive for: Level 3

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that South Africa will move back to lockdown level 3, taking effect from midnight tonight.

In an address on Monday evening (28 December), Ramaphosa said that the move is being done to limit super-spreader events further, and will adjust previous level 3 regulations to keep the economy as open as possible.

It will also allow government to focus on the social distancing measures, and aims to ease the pressure on hospitals.

The change follows meetings held by the president and his cabinet as part of the National Coronavirus Command Council on Sunday, and come as the country surpasses 1 million cumulative Covid-19 infections and record daily increases.

“Nearly 27,000 South African are known to have died from Covid-19. The number of new coronovirus infections are increasing at an alarming rate. Infections are surging in KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and Gauteng. Infections are alarmingly on the rise in Limpopo,” Ramaphosa siad.

“Infections are on the rise, in part, because we as humans are social beings. We feel the need to visit friends and family, attend religious services, and go to parties. But this is a time of danger,” the president warned.

Infections are being driven by super spreader events, the president said, which include year-end functions, family gatherings and music and cultural events.

“This is where infections happen most. This is cause for alarm, and points to an extreme lack of vigilance. We have let our guard down, and we are now paying the price,” he said. Venues are also being over-crowded, and social distancing and prevention protocols are not being followed.

Sale of alcohol

“One of the more difficult areas of regulation relates to the sale of alcohol,” the president said. “The liquor industry is a major employer and an important contributor to our economy. Our priority at this time, however, must be to save lives,” he said.

The president said that the consumption of alcohol has exacerbated the stress put on healthcare facilities, driving up the number of trauma cases in hospitals.

Worryingly, hospitals are reporting being at, or close to maximum capacity – while healthcare workers are exhausted and becoming infected in higher numbers. “They are almost at breaking point,” the president said. “All because of our actions, and failure to take responsibility. Unless we act now, and act decisively…thousands of more people will lose their lives.”

“Night clubs and businesses engaged in the sale and transportation of liquor will not be allowed to operate. The Level 3 restrictions will remain in place until 15 January 2021,” Ramaphosa said.

“These regulations may be reviewed within the next few weeks if we see a sustained decline in infections and hospital admissions,” Ramaphosa said.

Under the new lockdown level 3, the following takes effect:

  • All indoor and outdoor gatherings will be prohibited for 14 days, with an exception to funerals and places like restaurants and gyms. These exceptions will be clarified in the official regulations.
  • Nationwide curfew will be extended to 21h00 to 06h00. Aside from essential services, no one will be permitted to be out during this time. All establishments will close at 20h00, with a more specific list to be published soon.
  • Every individual will be responsible, legally, for wearing a mask in public. It is now compulsory for every person to wear a mask in a public place. Violators will be guilty of an offence, and could be prosecuted. They could be liable for a fine or imprisonment, or both.
  • Alcohol sales from retail outlets and onsite consumption are banned. The prohibition on the public consumption of alcohol remains.
  • Businesses will continue to operate, subject to guidelines. Nightclubs and businesses that rely on alcohol sales will not be allowed to operate.
  • All beaches, dams, rivers and public parks and public pools in hotspot areas will be closed to the public.

These measures will be in place until 15 January 2021, at which time they will be reviewed based on the situation, Ramaphosa said.

A notable change is that, from midnight, it is compulsory for every person to wear a mask in a public space. A person who does not wear a cloth mask covering over the nose and mouth in a public place will be committing an offence.

A person who does not wear a mask could be arrested and prosecuted. On conviction, they will be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both a fine and imprisonment.

This is a drastic measure but is now necessary to ensure compliance with the most basic of preventative measures, the president said.

People living and moving within hotspot areas are recommended to keep travel as limited as possible.

The following areas have been declared hotspot regions:

  • Eastern Cape: Sarah Baartman, Chris Hani, Buffalo City, Nelson Mandela Bay, Amathole, OR Tambo, Alfred Nzo.
  • KwaZulu-Natal: eThekwini, Umgungundlovu, Ugu, Harry Gwala, Ilembe, King Cetshwayo.
  • Gauteng: West Rand, Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni.
  • Western Cape: the West Coast District, Overberg District, Winelands District, Cape Town, Central Karoo District are hotspots. This is in addition to the Garden Route District.
  • North West: Bojanala District.
  • Limpopo: the Waterberg District and the Capricorn District.

For information about COVID-19 from the World Health Organization, click here. To track cases, click here. To read President Ramaphosa’s address to the nation, click here.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2], [3]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Lock-down amendments

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.

Sit-down restaurants

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.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

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South Africa’s response to Covid-19 will significantly change under Alert Level 3 as all but high-risk sectors of the economy will be allowed to resume operating.

There was a general assumption under Levels 4 and 5 of the Covid-19 lockdown that almost all economic and social activities were prohibited, except for essential services and low-risk behaviour.

That will flip under Level 3, which President Cyril Ramaphosa announced will be implemented nationwide on 1 June 2020. While significant restrictions on social behaviour will continue, all economic activity except those deemed as high-risk will be allowed to resume.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Monday announced the country had 23,615 cases of Covid-19 and 481 deaths, a jump of 52 fatalities overnight.

The number of infections and deaths will continue to rise, but the rate of infection will now largely depend on how society implements hygiene and distancing guidelines as millions of people return to work and school.

The National Coronavirus Command Council is due to explain the Level 3 regulations in a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, but here’s what we know so far.

The economy

As most people will be allowed to return to work, let’s start with the industries that will remain closed.

Restaurants, bars and taverns must stay closed, except for the delivery and collection of food. Conferences, events, entertainment and sporting activities, cinemas, theatres and museums also remain prohibited. Hairdressing, beauty services, gyms and fitness centres must stay shut.

A draft copy of the regulations said domestic workers can get back to work if their employers arrange and pay for private transport.

All other sectors are allowed to resume work. Ramaphosa specifically mentioned the resumption of operations in the manufacturing, mining, construction, financial services, professional and business services, information technology, communications, government services and media services sectors. Domestic flights and accommodation will only be allowed for business travel.

If possible, you should continue to work from home. The president said anyone over the age of 60 or who has underlying conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer “should ideally stay at home”.

Employers will have to implement strict physical distancing and hygiene guidelines but, as the partial resumption of the mining industry has shown, where hundreds of infections have recently been recorded, it might be difficult to monitor compliance.

Trade union federation Saftu has accused the government of sacrificing the working class to bolster employers’ profits and warned it may strike against the Level 3 regulations.


The 8pm to 5am curfew will be scrapped under Level 3 but you should only leave home to go to work, buy goods and obtain services. You can exercise at any time of the day, just not in groups, but visiting family and friends will remain prohibited.

With up to eight million people expected to return to work, all public transport services will be able to resume, including trains, which officials have warned could lead to an increased spread of the virus. People will have to wear masks on taxis and wash their hands or sanitise when getting on or off vehicles. Taxis must be sanitised regularly.

Ramaphosa said there needs to be a partnership between commuters, taxi and bus operators, businesses and government to prevent the spread of the virus on public transport but he said the transport minister would detail how it would work. Businesses have been encouraged to take responsibility for transporting their workers where possible.

The Gauteng Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Roads and Transport has slammed Prasa’s plans for resuming Metrorail services under Level 3. On Monday it said it “could lead to a public transport disaster” as Prasa only planned to open one Metrorail line and its plans for safety and screening “were not reassuring”.


Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners can return to school during Level 3 and higher education institutions can allow up to 33% of students back on campus. It’s still unclear when other students will be allowed to return. Ramaphosa said the 2020 school calendar will be revised to save the school year.

“Strict infection control measures and, where necessary, additional water and sanitation infrastructure are being put in place to enable social distancing, regular hand washing and learner safety,” said Ramaphosa.

Teachers’ union Sadtu has warned that schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo are not ready to open. School staff were supposed to return to work on Monday but the Department of Basic Education has said some teachers could not return as they were still waiting for deliveries of personal protective equipment (PPE). There have also been reports of some PPE being stolen from schools.

Crucially, Ramaphosa said concerned parents can choose whether to send their kids to school: “It is understandable that there is some concern about the reopening of schools, and I must stress that no parent will be forced to send their child to school if they are worried about safety.”


The government was heavily criticised for the restrictions it announced on the sale of clothing under Level 4 of the lockdown and it has chosen to allow all retail activities (even the sale of open-toed shoes) under Level 3. 

You’ll be able to buy alcohol, but only on specified days and in certain hours, which are yet to be announced. The sale of tobacco products remains banned.


The ban on gatherings effectively remains. Funerals can still be held with a maximum of 50 people in attendance and meetings at workplaces are permitted. Religious gatherings remain prohibited, but the government is in discussion with the inter-faith community about how worshipping might be able to safely resume.

Differentiated response

The response to Covid-19 will differ in different areas. Ramaphosa listed various hotspots, defined as five infected people per every 100,000, on Sunday where teams of health experts and emergency personnel will be dispatched to provide increased prevention and care measures. Ramaphosa suggested that stricter regulations could be imposed in the hotspots, but for now, it appears they will still move to Level 3 come 1 June.

“Should it be necessary, any part of the country could be returned to alert Levels 4 or 5 if the spread of infection is not contained despite our interventions and there is a risk of our health facilities being overwhelmed,” said the President.

Level 3 infographics

To view some helpful level 3 infographics from the South African Department of Health, click here.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].