On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa sent the country into cheers when he announced a number of adjusted Level 3 lockdown rules.
President Ramaphosa’s address: Here are the key takeouts
The president spent much of his speech expounding on the vaccine programme South Africa has embarked on with the arrival of one million AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India (SII).
In the latter parts of his address, Ramaphosa noted the improvements made in reducing daily Covid-19 infections. This, he said, was a sign of a turning point in the fight against the Covid-19 second wave.
“At the peak of the second wave, we recorded over 2 300 hospital admissions in a day. This had called to 295 hospital admissions by the 29th of January. We are pleased that across the country, most people are adhering to the restrictions we have had to impose and are diligently observing the basic health measures needed to prevent infection,” he said.
Adjusted Level 3 lockdown: Here are the new rules
After consultations with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and other government stakeholders, the president announced that there would be adjustments made to Alert Level 3 lockdown. Here are the new rules.
Movement of persons
Every person must be confined to their homes from 23:00 until 04:00 every day. Exceptions include:
- granted permission by a Cabinet member or a permit (only essential workers have the right to hold such a permit);
- attending to a security or medical emergency;
- arriving on a flight or travelling to or from an airport which necessitates travelling during restricted hours of movement. In this case, you must be able to provide a boarding passor a copy of the airline ticket as proof.
Closing times for the following establishments, whether indoor or outdoor, have been adjusted to 22:00:
- museums, galleries and archives;
- public swimming pools;
- beaches and public parks;
- game parks, botanical gardens, aquariums and zoos;
- gyms and fitness centres;
- establishments offering wine -tastings and other brew- tastings;
- venues hosting auctions; and
- venues hosting professional sport.
Opening and closure of schools
Reopening of schools remains unchanged on 15 February 2021. However, it is the sole prerogative of the Minister of Basic Education to determine whether it is safe to do so.
Faith-based gatherings may resume but at a limit of 50 persons for indoor venues and 100 persons or less for outdoor venues.
“If the venue is too small to hold the prescribed number of persons observing a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other, then not more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.”
All social gatherings are prohibited.
Beaches and parks
All beaches, dams, lakes, rivers and recreational facilities at these places are open to the public. All public swimming pools are open subject to the following restrictions:
- Not more than 50 people are allowed for indoor venues and 100 people for outdoor venues;
- if the venue is too small then no more than 50% of the venue’s capacity is allowed.
Places and premises closed to the public
Domestic and international travel
International travel is restricted to the following airports:
- OR Tambo International Airport;
- King Shaka International Airport; and
- Cape Town International Airport.
All international travellers arriving at the airports listed in paragraph (a) must provide a valid certificate of a negative COVID -19 test.
“In the event of the traveller’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative COVID -19 test, the traveller will be required to do an antigen test on arrival at his or her own cost and in the event of a traveller testing positive for COVID -19, he or she will be required to isolate him or herself at his or her own cost, for a period of 10 days.”
Sale, dispensing or transportation of liquor
The sale of liquor –
(a) by licensed premises for off-site consumption, is permitted from 10h00 to 18h00, from Mondays to Thursdays. excluding Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: and
(b) by licensed premises for on-site consumption is permitted, from 10h00 to 22h00.
(2) The provisions of sub-regulation (1)(a) do not apply to duty – free shops, registered wineries, wine farms. microbreweries and micro-distilleries.
(3) The consumption of liquor in public places. except in licensed on-site consumption premises, is prohibited.
(4) Registered wineries, wine farms. microbreweries and micro-distilleries may continue to operate in offering wine-tastings and other brew tastings and the selling of wine and other brews to the public for offsite consumption is permitted, subject to strict adherence to the curfew provided for in regulation 33(1) and regulation 33(3) and strict adherence to social distancing
measures and health protocols.
(5) The transportation of liquor is permitted.
(6) The sale and consumption of liquor in contravention of sub regulations (1) and (3) is an offence.
Failure to comply with any of the above-listed regulations may lead to a hefty fine or, even worse, no less than six months in prison.