New Level 4 lockdown rules — what you can and can’t do

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Corporate Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published the updated alert level 4 lockdown regulations for South Africa.

This follows an address by President Cyril Ramapahosa last night where he announced that much stricter restrictions are needed due to a surge in Covid-19 cases in South Africa.

One of the major reasons for the surge, experts have said, is that the Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading in South Africa.

The Delta variant, which was first discovered in India, is more transmissible than the Beta variant that has been the dominant mutation in South Africa since the second wave at the end of last year.

Ramaphosa said that scientists have detected a significant presence of the Delta variant in five provinces: Free State, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.

“We are concerned because it is more transmissible,” the president stated. “Because it is more contagious, it can infect far more people.”

According to the president, there is some debate among scientists over whether the Delta variant causes more serious symptoms than the Beta variant, which was first detected in South Africa.

He said that preliminary data shows that the Delta variant does not cause more severe Covid-19.

This disagrees with statements from Professor Shabir Madhi, the director of the Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytical Research Unit at Wits University, who said that the Delta variant is more virulent — meaning that it results in a greater likelihood of developing serious disease.

However, Ramaphosa said that the Delta variant does reportedly infect more children, though the rate of infection remains slower than in adults.

He said that there is emerging scientific evidence that people who were infected by the Beta variant do not have full protection against the Delta variant and can be reinfected.

To curb the spread of this new variant, the president announced that gatherings and alcohol sales would be banned, along with leisure travel into and out of Gauteng.

The curfew has also been extended for an extra hour. It will now run from 21:00 to 04:00.

School holidays will be brought forward, with schools now scheduled to close between Wednesday and Friday.

The new regulations kicked in on 28 June 2021 and will be applicable until 11 July, at which time they will be reviewed the president said.


Curfew and mask mandate

It remains a criminal offence to not wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth while you are in a public place, with certain exceptions.

Failing to comply with an instruction from an enforcement officer to wear a mask may result in a fine and/or imprisonment of up to six months.

Everyone is confined to their homes from 21:00 until 04:00 unless they are performing an essential service as determined by a cabinet minister, have a permit, or are attending to a security or medical emergency.

If you have arrived on a late flight and must travel from the airport during the hours of curfew, you will be allowed to do so provided that you have a valid boarding pass or a copy of the airline ticket.

The closing time for the establishments like restaurants (delivery only) is at 20:00 to allow staff and patrons to get home before the start of the curfew.

 


Gatherings

All gatherings are banned, except for funerals where a maximum of 50 attendees are allowed.

Funerals are limited to a maximum of two hours.

During a funeral, people must wear their masks and adhere to all health and protocols and social distancing measures. Night vigils and after-funeral gatherings remain forbidden.

Restaurants are closed because patrons can’t keep their masks on and still enjoy their food, Ramaphosa said.

 


Premises closed to the public

The following places are closed to the public:

  • Gyms and fitness centres
  • Flea markets
  • Fêtes and bazaars
  • Night clubs
  • Casinos
  • Taverns and shebeens, except for off-site consumption of food and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Restaurants, except for off-site consumption of food and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Conferencing, exhibitions, and entertainment facilities
  • Theatres and cinemas
  • Museums, libraries, archives, and galleries
  • Visits to old age homes and care facilities are prohibited
  • Other premises may be closed if there is a risk of anyone being exposed to Covid-19 at the place in question.

Alcohol and tobacco

The sale of alcohol is banned, whether for on-site or off-site consumption.

“The Ministerial Advisory Committee has advised that the limited restrictions that we previously imposed [on alcohol sales] were not particularly effective,” Ramaphosa said.

To ease the pressure on South Africa’s strained hospitals, government has decided to once again implement an outright ban on alcohol.


Travel and transport

Bus and taxi services may not carry more than 70% of the licensed capacity for long-distance travel (200km or more).

Public transport may carry 100% of the licensed capacity for any trip not regarded as long-distance travel.

A driver, owner or operator of public transport must not allow anyone not wearing a face mask covering their nose and mouth to board their vehicle.

Leisure travel into or out of Gauteng is restricted. Travel for work purposes, to deliver goods and services, to attend funerals, and to return home is permitted.


Schools

The winter holidays for all schools will be moved to an earlier date, with all public and private schools now scheduled to close between Wednesday and Friday this week.

Higher education institutions will be closed for contact classes from Wednesday (30 June). Residences will be allowed to remain open.

Ramaphosa said that more details about school closures and reopenings would be communicated by the relevant Ministers.


Summary

What you are required to do
What you must do
  • Wear a cloth mask in public.
  • Keep a distance of 1.5m from other people.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Avoid crowds and gatherings.
  • Sanitise surfaces regularly.
What is not allowed
  • No person may be evicted from their land.
Leaving your home
What is allowed
  • A person must wear a face mask while in a public place, except when undertaking vigorous exercise outdoors.
What is not allowed
  • Every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 21:00 until 04:00 daily.
Funerals
What is allowed
  • Attendance at a funeral is limited to 50 persons or less.
  • During a funeral, a person must wear a face mask and adhere to all health protocols and social distancing measures.
What is not allowed
  • Night vigils and post-funeral gatherings are not allowed.
  • Funerals may not be longer than two hours.
Gatherings and sporting events
What is allowed
  • Workplace gatherings for work purposes, provided all social distancing and health protocols are observed.
  • Shopping, with businesses limited to allowing customers on 50% of their available floor space.
  • Funerals, to a maximum of 50 people or 50% of the capacity of the venue (whichever is lowest).
  • Sporting activities by recognised bodies, including professional and non-professional matches, with strict requirements.
What is not allowed
  • All social, cultural, faith-based, and political gatherings are banned.
  • No spectators are allowed at the venue of a sports match.
  • No international sports events involving countries with a high Covid-19 infection risk are allowed.
Premises and places closed
What is not allowed
  • Night clubs remain closed to the public.
  • Cinemas, theatres, casinos, museums, archives, galleries, gyms, conferences, and auctions are closed until 11 July.
  • Flea markets, fêtes, and bazaars.
  • Taverns, shebeens, and restaurants (except for off-site consumption of food and non-alcoholic beverages).
  • Conferencing, exhibitions, and entertainment facilities.
  • Visits to old age homes and care facilities are prohibited.
Opening of borders
What is allowed
  • Travelling to and from South Africa via air travel is allowed, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.
  • All international travellers must present a negative Covid-19 test or finance their own upon arrival.
  • International air travel is restricted to OR Tambo, King Shaka, Lanseria, Kruger Mpumalanga, and Cape Town International Airports.
  • The 20 land borders which were previously operational will remain fully operational.
What is not allowed
  • The 33 land borders which were closed will remain closed.
Public Transport
What is allowed
  • All public transport allowed, with strict safety guidelines and the mandatory wearing of masks.
  • Bus and taxi services may carry 70% of their licensed capacity for long-distance trips of over 200km.
  • Bus and taxi services may carry 100% of their licensed capacity for trips shorter than 200km.
Beaches and Parks
What is allowed
  • Beaches, botanical gardens, aquariums, dams, zoos, and other public spaces are open to the public all day, except during the hours of the curfew.
What is not allowed
  • No gatherings are allowed and all social distancing and health protocols must be observed.
Sale and Dispensing of Liquor
What is allowed
  • Transport of liquor for export.
  • Transport of alcohol required by industries for producing hand sanitiser, disinfectants, soap, and other industrial or household cleaning products.
What is not allowed
  • The sale of liquor is banned.
  • Transport of liquor is prohibited.
Economic Sector
What is allowed
  • Most businesses may operate, with certain exceptions.
What is not allowed
  • Night clubs and international sports events involving high-risk Covid-19 countries are not allowed.
  • Cinemas, theatres, casinos, museums, archives, galleries, gyms, conferences, auctions, flea markets, fêtes and bazaars, taverns and shebeens, restaurants, conferencing, exhibitions, and entertainment facilities.
Movement between provinces
What is allowed
  • Free movement between all provinces except Gauteng is allowed.
  • Travel to and from Gauteng is permitted for work purposes, transporting of goods, transitting, attending funerals, moving house, and caring for an immediate family member.
What is not allowed
  • Leisure travel to and from Gauteng is banned.
Exercise and Sport
What is allowed
  • Exercise like walking, jogging, and cycling is allowed, except between the hours of curfew.

Government Gazette

Now read: Covid-19 variants of concern — and what we know about them

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New Level 4 lockdown rules — what you can and can’t do