Good news for South Africans when they move to level 3 lockdown

A widely-circulated Draft Level 3 Regulations document sheds light on potential changes to the lockdown rules when South Africa moves to alert level 3. While the authenticity of the document has not been verified, it was cited in various Sunday newspapers with government insiders confirming its content. The Sunday Times reported that the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has tabled the draft level 3 regulations.

The City Press said the national command council has agreed on the new regulations for the level 3 lockdown stage change this coming week. Rapport also cited the draft regulations document in its report, but highlighted that it could not confirm the authenticity of the document.

The focus areas in most of the reports are the sale of alcohol and the ban on the sale of cigarettes. According to the draft regulations, the sale of liquor will be allowed between Monday and Thursday at off-consumption sites. The document further states that the sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products is prohibited. The Sunday Times reported that the sale of cigarettes was a heavily debated issue in the National Command Council (NCC) and that a final decision on the issue has not been reached.

The continued ban on cigarettes is a departure from both the Draft Framework for Sectors, published on 25 April, and a previous statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa also said in his address to the nation on 23 April that when the country moves to level 4 on 1 May, the sale of cigarettes would be permitted. This did not happen, and Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa later said the about turn on cigarette sales was a collective decision.

Level 4 vs Level 3 Draft Regulations
The level 3 draft regulations document proposes opening most sectors of the economy from next month, but keeping a ban on gyms, restaurants and bars, hotels, and recreational facilities.

The draft document states that all businesses and other entities may operate except for specific economic exclusions, which include:

Consumption of food and beverages at or in the place of sale, including restaurants and bars.
Accommodation, air travel and passenger ships for recreational purposes.
Conferences and events, including sport events.
Personal care services, including hairdressing, beauty treatments, makeup and nail salons, and piercing and tattoo parlours, where adequate social distance of at least 1.5m between customers is not possible.
Domestic work, unless the worker is live-in, provides essential support, or is provided with private transport.
The table below provides an overview of the proposed rules for level 3 of the lockdown, based on the Draft Level 3 Regulations document.

It should be noted that the government did not confirm the authenticity of this document, and the final level 3 regulations may still change from what is proposed in this document.

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