New lockdown rules for sport and going to the movies in South Africa

Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture Emmanuel Nkosinathi Mthethwa has published directives which explain the rules required for the reopening of cinemas and theatres.

These directives fall under the advanced level 3 lockdown rules which were announced by Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the end of June 2020.

These new regulations relaxed a number of lockdown restrictions, and included the reopening of restaurants, theatres, and cinemas, as well the lifting of the restrictions on sporting activities.

The directives published by Minister Mthethwa describe the specific restrictions which will be enforced on cinemas and theatres under the advanced level 3 lockdown regulations.

They also elaborate on the restrictions under which sporting activities will be able to resume.

Non-contact sports matches are allowed to resume under specific circumstances, while contact sports will be allowed to resume for training only.

We have summarised the rules which apply to the reopening of theatres, cinemas, and sporting activities below.

Rules for cinemas and theatres

The new regulations state that cinemas and theatres are allowed to open to the public provided that only 50 people or less, excluding staff members, are allowed in compliance with health safety protocols.

These locations must also adhere to the following rules:

  • Sufficient hand sanitisers must be made available.
  • Social distancing must be adhered to wherever possible.
  • Cloth masks must be worn at all times, and may only be removed when eating or drinking.
  • Contactless payments and pre-booking should be used wherever possible.
  • Premises must be deep-cleaned before use, and facilities such as equipment, tools, and bathrooms must be cleaned regularly.
  • Windows and doors should be kept open where possible to improve ventilation.
  • All people within the premises must maintain 1.5-metre social distance between each other.
  • Steps must be taken to ensure that persons queuing inside or outside adhere to a 1.5-metre social distance.
  • A dedicated area must be set aside for the isolation of individuals who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms while within the premises.
  • Every person entering the premises must be subjected to temperature screening.
  • People with an elevated temperature may be refused access to the premises.

Cinemas and theatres are required to apply to the Minister to reopen for business, the regulations stated, and a compliance officer must be appointed by the business in question.

“A person above the age of 60 or a person with comorbidities is discouraged from visiting the places or premises,” the regulations said.

Rules for sports

The regulations said that contact sport training may resume without any spectators and must comply with the health protocols.

However, all sports bodies must apply within 14 days after the publication of the directives for the resumption of training, and their applications must include information such as a full operational plan, the number of players and officials involved, and the date of resumption of training.

Sports bodies must also keep a register with the names and details of all participating athletes.

Non-contact sporting bodies must also apply to resume training in matches in the same manner, and these applications will be considered within seven days of submission.

If the Minister declines the sporting body’s application, they will be allowed to appeal this ruling, which will be considered within 14 days after filing.

“A sporting body may not resume training or matches before receiving the approval of the Minister in writing,” the regulations said.

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New lockdown rules for sport and going to the movies in South Africa