New lockdown rules for the reopening of cinemas and sport in South Africa

 ·6 Jul 2020

Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has published a new directive outlining the new reopening rules for cinemas, sports, and libraries.

The directive, which comes into immediate effect, forms part of the country’s ‘advanced level 3 lockdown’ which saw a number of business sectors reopen to the public.

While the amended level 3 directive sets out a number of core regulations which all business must follow, the latest directive from Mthethwa also introduces specific guidelines for the arts and sports sectors.

The changes are outlined in more detail below.


The directive states that following places or premises are open to the public, subject to strict health protocols:

  • Libraries;
  • Archives;
  • Museums;
  • Galleries.

Some of the key guidelines which these businesses must follow include:

  • They must limit their operating hours as per the amended standard operation procedure posted on the website of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture;
  • Places or premises must provide limited service and contact as far as possible between the staff and visitors so as to prevent any form of gathering;
  • Cinemas and theatres are limited to 50 people or less, excluding staff members;
  • Sufficient hand sanitisers must be made available;
  • Social distancing between customers and staff should be followed wherever possible. A distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained;
  • All customers should wear cloth masks at all times except for eating and drinking;
  • Contactless payments and pre-booking should be available wherever possible;
  • The premises should be deep-cleaned before reopening, and commonly used areas should be sanitised frequently;
  • Protection equipment must be given to employees;
  • A dedicated area should be set aside for people who have developed coronavirus symptoms;
  • A person with an elevated temperature can be refused entrance into the premises.


Contact and non-contact sport may resume training without any spectators and must comply with the country’s coronavirus health protocols.

The following measures also apply:

  • All sports bodies must, within 14 days of the publication of this gazette, apply to the minister in writing for the resumption of training;
  • A sport body must keep a register, which must be archived for at least six months, with the personal details of athletes, support staff and officials;
  • All athletes and support staff must be tested for Covid-19 before any resumption of sport;
  • Extra precautions must be taken for geographical areas declined as a hotspot;
  • Non-contact sport may resume matches subject to the above restrictions and depending on the size of the code of sport;

The directive also outlines the appeals process and the guidelines which must be followed for submitting a plan.

You can read the full directive below.

Read: South Africa working on new rapid coronavirus tests: minister

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