Big changes to South Africa’s lockdown rules – Level 3 versus Level 2

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that South Africa will move from alert level 3 to alert level 2 on Monday, which will see many lockdown rules relaxed.

Ramaphosa said the country’s infection rate has declined in recent weeks which resulted in a relaxation of the lockdown restrictions.

“Over the last three weeks, the number of new confirmed cases has dropped from a peak of over 12,000 a day to an average, over the past week, of around 5,000 a day,” he said.

“The recovery rate from coronavirus has risen from 48% at the time of my last address and now stands at 80%.”

He said all indications are that South Africa has reached the peak and moved beyond the inflection point of the curve.

Now, amid the signs of hope, he said the country is ready to enter a new phase in its response to the pandemic.

South Africa will move to alert level 2, with effect from midnight on Monday, 17 August 2020.

The move to level 2 will remove nearly all of the restrictions on the resumption of economic activity across most industries. These include:

  • All restrictions on inter-provincial travel will be lifted.
  • Accommodation, hospitality venues and tours will be permitted according to approved protocols to ensure social distancing.
  • Restaurants, bars and taverns will be permitted to operate according to approved protocols as to times of operation and numbers of people.
  • Restrictions on the sale of tobacco will be lifted.
  • The suspension of the sale of alcohol will be lifted subject to certain restrictions.
  • Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 10pm.
  • Liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 9am to 5pm only.
  • Gyms and fitness centres can open.
  • Parks, beaches, and nature reserves will open.
  • Sporting events will be allowed without spectators.
  • Restrictions on family and social visits will also be lifted, although everyone is urged to exercise extreme caution and undertake such visits only if necessary.

A few of the current lockdown restrictions will remain in place to guard against a second wave hitting the country.

  • Current restrictions on international travel will remain in place.
  • No gatherings of more than 50 people will be permitted. Among others, this includes funerals and religious events.
  • Spectators will not be permitted at sporting events.
  • The curfew will remain in place between the hours of 10pm and 4am.
  • We continue to encourage people to stay at home if they can and, if possible, to work from home, especially if they are over the age of 60 or have underlying conditions.

Summary of alert level 2 rule changes

The table below provides an overview of the biggest changes when the country moves from level 3 to level 2.

Sale of Alcohol
Level 3 Banned.
Level 2 Allowed from Monday to Thursday from 09:00 until 17:00.
Sale of Alcohol in Restaurants and Bars
Level 3 Banned.
Level 2 Allowed up to 22:00.
Sale of Tobacco Products
Level 3 Banned.
Level 2 Allowed.
Inter-Provincial Travel
Level 3 Prohibited.
Level 2 Allowed.
Family and Recreational Visits
Level 3 Prohibited.
Level 2 Allowed.
Domestic Flights for Leisure
Level 3 Prohibited.
Level 2 Allowed.
Hotels and Accomodations Facilities for Leisure
Level 3 Prohibited.
Level 2 Allowed to open.
Parks, Beaches, and Nature Reserves
Level 3 Mostly closed.
Level 2 Allowed to open.
Gyms and Fitness Centres
Level 3 Closed.
Level 2 Allowed to open.
Sporting Events
Level 3 Mostly prohibited
Level 2 Allowed, without spectators.

Lockdown level 2 summary

Now read: The alcohol and cigarette ban is over

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Big changes to South Africa’s lockdown rules – Level 3 versus Level 2