President Cyril Ramaphosa has relaxed South Africa’s lockdown regulations as the country sees a decline in its third wave of Covid-19 cases. However, there are several activities that South Africans are still expressly prohibited from doing.
In a government gazette published on Sunday evening (12 September) detailing the adjusted level 2 lockdown, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that the following activities are still expressly prohibited:
- Night vigils;
- After-funeral and cremation gatherings, including ‘after tears’ gatherings;
- Night clubs;
- The country’s land borders remain closed – except for specific border posts;
- Passenger ships for international leisure purposes – excluding small crafts
- Attendance of any sporting events by spectators.
The gazette also leaves room for further exclusions specific to the public transport and education sectors, which those respective departments would determine.
In addition to the above prohibitions, South Africans are still limited in many areas, including an evening curfew, the number of people who may gather indoors and outdoors for an event, and restrictions on alcohol sales.
In a national address, Ramaphosa said that the country would move to lockdown level 2 on Monday (13 September) with the following restrictions in place:
- The hours of curfew will now run from 23h00 – 04h00. Non-essential establishments such as bars and gyms will need to close at 22h00 to give staff to get home.
- All gatherings will now be limited to 250 people indoors, while outdoor gatherings will be limited to 500 people. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these people, then no more than 50% of the floor space may be used.
- The sale of alcohol for off-site consumption will now be permitted from 10h00 – 18h00 from Monday-Friday. On-site consumption will be subject to licensing permissions until 22h00.
- Funerals remain restricted to no more than 50 people, and, as before, night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.
Ramaphosa said that government would review these restrictions in two weeks. The government will also present its plan for vaccine passports so that people can attend sports and other events, he said.
The president warned that existing regulations remain in place – including the compulsory wearing of masks, social distancing and a ban on after-funeral gatherings.
“It is a criminal offence not to do so, and the managers of shops and restaurants, as well as drivers of taxis and buses, have a responsibility to ensure that their customers wear masks and that the appropriate social distancing measures are in place.”
The gazette states that everyone is confined to their homes from 23h00 until 04h00 unless they perform an essential service as determined by a cabinet minister, have a permit, or attend to a security or medical emergency.
If you have arrived on a late flight and must travel from the airport during the curfew hours, you will be allowed to do so provided that you have a valid boarding pass or a copy of the airline ticket.
In addition, the following businesses and venues must close by 22h00 to allow staff and patrons to get home before the start of the curfew.
- Museums, galleries and archives
- Public swimming pools
- Beaches and public parks
- Game parks, botanical gardens, aquariums and zoos
- Gyms and fitness centres
- Restaurants, bars, shebeens and taverns
Religious, social, political, and cultural gatherings are restricted to 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors.
Funerals are permitted but are limited to a maximum of 50 attendees, depending on the capacity of the venue, and a maximum duration of two hours.
Initiation practices are permitted, subject to relevant risk-adjusted protocols. Post-initiation celebrations are permitted, with guests limited to 100 people for indoor venues and 250 people for outdoor venues.
If a venue can’t accommodate the number of people mentioned above while maintaining social distancing of at least 1.5 metres between them, it is restricted to 50% of its total capacity.
Liquor stores and other licensed establishments can sell alcohol for off-site consumption between 10h00 and 18h00 from Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
Restaurants, taverns, and shebeens can sell alcohol for on-site consumption within their licence conditions until 22h00.
Registered wineries, wine farms, micro-breweries, and micro-distilleries can sell liquor for on-site and off-site consumption until 22h00.
The sale of alcohol at duty-free shops in the international departures area of airports is unrestricted. – BusinessTech