The level 4 lockdown regulations kicked in on 1 May, which allow for more people to return to work – and to start exercising.
Restaurants have started to operate through delivery services between 09:00 and 19:00, and the sale of computing equipment is now allowed.
Not all rules have been relaxed, however. The sale of alcohol and cigarettes is still not allowed, all gatherings are banned, and bars and shebeens must remain closed.
South Africa’s borders remain closed to international travel and no travel is allowed between provinces, except for very specific purposes.
A national curfew from 20:00 to 05:00 has also been introduced which requires everyone, except essential workers, to stay at home.
Another new requirement is that everyone who leaves their home must wear a cloth mask.
Legal opinion on the new regulations
Many people have questions regarding the regulations, especially when it comes to food deliveries, domestic workers, and wearing a mask.
Daniel Pretorius, a partner at Bowmans, provided feedback on whether restaurants are allowed to do kerbside deliveries.
Megan Harrington Johnson, an attorney from HJW Attorneys, then provided feedback on other topics like domestic workers and whether you have to wear a mask in a car.
Can a restaurant deliver food to cars parked close to the restaurant?
Regulation – Restaurants only for food delivery services (9:00 – 19:00) and subject to restriction on movement (no sit down or pick-up allowed). The sale of hot cooked food, only for home delivery.
Legal Opinion – Pretorius said as presently formulated, the regulations permit “the sale of hot cooked food, only for home delivery”. As such, the regulations do not permit kerbside delivery of hot cooked food. There may be an argument that this does not apply to uncooked or cold food.”
Is your domestic worker allowed to return to work?
Regulation – Live-in staff, and staff providing care to the sick, mentally ill, elderly, people with disabilities, and children.
Legal opinion – Johnson said only live-in household staff – hence domestic workers and gardeners – may return to work. This means domestic workers and gardeners who do not live on your property cannot return to work. There is an exception – anyone who attends to a child, like a nanny, is allowed to return to work.
Must you wear a mask when travelling inside your car?
Regulation – A person must wear a cloth face mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth when in a public place, or another appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth.
Legal opinion – Johnson said it is not stipulated whether you must ware a mask in a car, but you must keep a mask with you in a car and wear it if you can. You must wear it when you enter any public space. If you engage with a person like a security guard or police officer, even if you are inside your car, you must have a mask on.
Can you deliver non-essential products to a company or home?
Regulation – A person may only leave their place of residence to perform an essential or permitted service, go to work, buy permitted goods, obtain services that are allowed to operate, move children, walk, run or cycle.
Legal opinion – No. Johnson said people are not allowed to leave their home for anything other than work or getting essential products.
How serious are the exercise and home curfews?
Regulations – Walk, run, or cycle between the hours of 06:00 to 09:00, within a 5km radius of their place of residence. Provided that this is not done in organised groups.
Legal opinion – Johnson said the government is taking the exercise and housebound curfews seriously and people who disregard them stand to be arrested and spend time in police holding cells. Law firms had to attend to many of these arrests over the weekend.