What to expect from level 3 lockdown rules

South Africa recently ended a strict five-week lockdown after the country moved to level 4 under the new 5-level COVID-19 alert system.

While the country is still under national lockdown, a few of the most stringent rules were lifted.

Certain people may return to work and jogging, cycling, and walking is now allowed between 06:00 and 09:00.

Retail stores are also allowed to sell more items. A few noteworthy additions to the list are winter clothing, ICT equipment, and hardware goods.

The new regulations were welcomed, but many people and businesses feel more needs to be done.

The ban on alcohol and cigarette sales has been criticized for encouraging their illicit trade and for costing the country a lot of money in lost tax revenue.

Another contentious area is ecommerce. Most countries allow unfettered ecommerce during their COVID-19 lockdowns, because of the contactless nature of the industry.

This is not the case in South Africa. Online shops are only allowed to sell the products which brick-and-mortar shops are allowed to sell.

The reason for this decision, which many people feel is ill-advised and counter-productive, is “fairness” towards physical shops.

Many people are also lobbying the government to increase the time allowed to exercise outside, to ease congestion and allow people to jog or walk outside after work.

Need to open the economy

The national lockdown has wreaked havoc on the economy. Early estimates are that South Africa’s GPD is expected to contract by between 6% and 15%.

Many businesses will close, and the National Treasury predicts that between 3-7 million jobs will be lost.

This could drive the unemployment rate in the country to above 50% and lead to a volatile situation in poorer communities.

Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka has said South Africa’s economy is already over the brink and people should be allowed to go back to work to make a living.

She warned that South Africa is heading for a humanitarian crisis, with people running out of food and money.

She said thousands of people are already queuing for 15 hours to get food parcels – something which has never happened in South Africa before.

She said the risk posed by the struggling economy is now higher than the risk posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Unless urgent steps are taken to unlock this economy, COVID-19 will be the least of our problems,” she said.

Moving to level 3

Many politicians have hinted that the government is looking to move to level 3 as soon as possible to allow more economic activity.

While the government is yet to make regulations which will stipulate exactly what will be allowed under level 3, it has provided guidelines.

Its Draft Framework for Sectors document, released on 25 April, provides an overview of which services will be allowed at the five levels.

It should be noted that this document is subject to revision and the final regulations may include changes.

The tables below provide a summary of the Draft Framework provided by the government.

Sale of ICT Equipment
Alert Level Direction
Level 5 Online delivery of ICT equipment only
Level 4 Allowed
Level 3 Allowed
Level 2 Allowed
Level 1 Allowed
Household Appliances
Alert Level Allowed or Not
Level 5 Not allowed
Level 4 Not allowed
Level 3 Allowed
Level 2 Allowed
Level 1 Allowed
Motor Vehicles Sales
Alert Level Allowed or Not
Level 5 Not allowed
Level 4 Not allowed (Specific Directions)
Level 3 Allowed
Level 2 Allowed
Level 1 Allowed
Sale of Hardware
Alert Level Allowed or Not
Level 5 Not allowed
Level 4 Allowed
Level 3 Allowed
Level 2 Allowed
Level 1 Allowed
Sale of Clothing
Alert Level What is allowed
Level 5 Children’s and winter clothing only
Level 4 Children’s and winter clothing only
Level 3 All clothing and footwear
Level 2 All clothing and footwear
Level 1 All clothing and footwear
Sale of Hot Food
Alert Level Allowed or Not
Level 5 Not allowed
Level 4 Only for home delivery
Level 3 *Uncertain
Level 2 Allowed
Level 1 Allowed
Take-Aways
Alert Level What is allowed
Level 5 Not permitted
Level 4 Home delivery only from 09:00 and 19:00
Level 3 Home delivery only from 09:00 and 19:00
Level 2 Take-away and deliveries allowed
Level 1 Take-away and deliveries allowed
Restaurants
Alert Level What is allowed
Level 5 No restaurant, take-away, bar and canteen services permitted
Level 4 Open only for food delivery between 09:00 and 19:00
Level 3 Open only for food delivery between 09:00 and 19:00
Level 2 Open for take-away and delivery only
Level 1 Open for sit-down, take-away and delivery
Hotels and B&Bs
Alert Level Allowed or Not
Level 5 Not allowed
Level 4 Not allowed
Level 3 Not allowed
Level 2 Allowed for business travel only
Level 1 Open to everyone
Air Travel
Alert Level Allowed or Not
Level 5 Not allowed
Level 4 Not allowed
Level 3 Limited domestic air travel, with a restriction on the number of flights per day
Level 2 Limited domestic air travel, with a restriction on the number of flights per day
Level 1 All air travel permitted
Sale of Liquor/Alcohol
Alert Level Allowed or Not
Level 5 No sale of liquor permitted
Level 4 No sale of liquor permitted
Level 3 Sale of liquor allowed, subject to limited hours
Level 2 Allowed
Level 1 Allowed
Sale of Cigarettes
Alert Level Allowed or Not
Level 5 Not allowed
Level 4 Not allowed
Level 3 Allowed
Level 2 Allowed
Level 1 Allowed
Domestic Workers and Gardeners
Alert Level What is allowed
Level 5 Live-in staff and staff providing care to vulnerable people
Level 4 Permitted to support all Level 4 personnel and live-in staff
Level 3 Permitted to support all Level 3 personnel and live-in staff; Gardening and swimming pool services.
Level 2 All private household employment permitted
Level 1 All private household employment permitted
Exercise
Alert Level What is allowed
Level 5 Prohibited
Level 4 Walking, jogging and cycling permitted between 06:00 and 09:00
Level 3 Walking, jogging and cycling permitted
Level 2 Walking, jogging and cycling permitted
Level 1 Walking, jogging and cycling permitted
Travel Between Provinces
Alert Level Allowed or Not
Level 5 Not permitted
Level 4 Not permitted
Level 3 Not permitted
Level 2 Allowed
Level 1 Allowed
Stay at Home
Alert Level Regulation
Level 5 Yes
Level 4 Yes
Level 3 Yes
Level 2 Yes
Level 1 No, but encouraged
Curfews
Alert Level Time
Level 5 20:00 to 05:00
Level 4 20:00 to 05:00
Level 3 20:00 to 05:00
Level 2 20:00 to 05:00
Level 1 No curfew
Mandatory Use of Cloth Masks
Alert Level Mandatory
Level 5 Yes
Level 4 Yes
Level 3 Yes
Level 2 Yes
Level 1 Yes
E-Hailing Services (Uber and Bolt)
Alert Level Allowed or Not
Level 5 Yes, subject to restrictions on capacity and times
Level 4 Yes, subject to restrictions on capacity and times
Level 3 Yes, subject to restrictions on capacity and times
Level 2 Yes, subject to restrictions on capacity and times
Level 1 Yes, subject to restrictions on capacity and times
Postal and Courier Services
Alert Level Allowed or Not
Level 5 Only allowed for transport of medical products
Level 4 Allowed for all permitted items at level 4
Level 3 Allowed to transport all retail goods, subject to directions
Level 2 Allowed to transport all retail goods, subject to directions
Level 1 Allowed

Now read: South Africa is heading for a humanitarian disaster – Sygnia CEO

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What to expect from level 3 lockdown rules