South Africa moved to lockdown alert level 3 on Monday, which saw the 20:00 – 05:00 curfew being lifted and the times when people can exercise outside being extended.
Most wholesalers, retailers, and other businesses have started to trade again, and restaurants are now allowed to offer delivery, collection, and drive-through services.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said it is the actions of South Africans which will determine the fate of the nation as we enter the next phase of the struggle against COVID-19.
He highlighted that the most effective defence against this virus is also the simplest. This includes:
- Washing your hands regularly.
- Wearing a face mask.
- Keeping at least a 1.5-metre distance from other people.
- Avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Cleaning surfaces you touch regularly.
Many of the alert level 3 regulations require citizens and businesses to abide by these defences against the coronavirus.
The regulations related to the movement of people, for example, state that:
A person must when in a public place, wear a cloth face mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth, or another appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth.
No person is allowed to be in a public place, use any form of public transport, or enter a public building, place or premises, if that person is not wearing a cloth face mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth, or another appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth.
This means people who leave their home to exercise are also required to wear a cloth face mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth.
What will happen if you do not wear a face mask
While the regulations require everyone to wear a mask when entering a public place, using public transport, at the workplace or exercising, there is not a clear penalty if you don’t.
Daniel Pretorius, a partner at Bowmans, told MyBroadband the level 3 regulations do not specify any particular penalty for contravening the regulations in respect of wearing a mask.
There are, however, strict penalties to breaking many of the other regulations, like exercising at prohibited places.
Pretorius said exercising at sports grounds, or a public park could lead to imprisonment for up to six months, or to a fine in an unlimited amount.
Businesses which fail to comply with applicable health and safety requirements also face still penalties.
In this case, its directors or management could potentially be fined an amount not exceeding R100,000 or could be imprisoned for a period not exceeding two years, or both.
Offences and penalties
The regulations for alert level 3 during the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown states that for the duration of the national state of disaster, any person who –
- Convenes a prohibited gathering.
- Hinders, interferes with, or obstructs an enforcement officer in the exercise of his or her powers or the performance of his or her duties.
- Commits of an offence and is on conviction.
– is liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
The regulations further state that any person who fails to comply with or contravenes a provision of regulations listed below commits an offence.
These rules include a ban on the sale of tobacco products, which Police Minister Bheki Cele has said also extends to citizens who purchase cigarettes.
They are, on conviction, liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
- Night vigils are prohibited.
- A person may not be evicted from his or her land or home during the period of Alert Level 3 period.
- For the duration of the national state of disaster, male and female initiation practices are prohibited.
- A place or premises where cultural, sporting, entertainment, leisure, exhibition, organisational or similar activities may take place, is closed to the public and all gatherings at these places or premises are prohibited.
- The following places must be closed – Gyms and fitness centres, sports grounds and fields and swimming pools, fetes and bazaars, night clubs, casinos, hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, private and public game reserves.
- The sale of liquor at any licensed premises or through ecommerce delivery is permitted from Monday to Thursday, between 09:00 and 17:00.
- The consumption of liquor at the place of sale is prohibited.
- The sale of liquor is prohibited on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and on public holidays.
- No special or events liquor licenses may be approved for the duration of the national state of disaster.
- The sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products is prohibited, except for export.