South Africa officially moved to level 3 lockdown on Monday, 1 June with the government introducing a host of new regulations around what citizens can and cannot do.
Most of these regulations relate to the relaxation of the current lockdown rules, with more than eight million people now expected to return to work.
Government has also indicated that it will step back from regulating individual sectors, and has placed an emphasis on individual responsibility.
Below are some of the most notable changes in more detail.
Government has indicated that most people may return to work from 1 June.
This includes the full reopening of the retail sector as well as the sale of alcohol. However, the country’s level 3 regulations outline a number of exclusions, including:
- The consumption of food and beverages at or in a place of sale. including restaurants retail outlets, convenience stores or informal traders;
- On-site consumption of liquor;
- Short term home-sharing /letting/leasing/rental for leisure purposes;
- Domestic passenger air travel for leisure purposes;
- Passenger ships for leisure purposes;
- Conferences and events;
- Personal care services, including hairdressing. beauty treatments, make -up, and nails salons and piercing and tattoo parlours;
- Tourist attractions. casinos and entertainment activities.
Those businesses allowed to return to work must follow strict health and safety guidelines. You can find a checklist of the required steps here.
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola says that South Africans will still have restricted exercise times under the country’s level 3 lockdown. The updated exercise times will now be between 06h00 – 18h00.
He added that South Africans will be required to wear masks at all times and may not exercise in groups. The 5km radius has seemingly been lifted.
Lamola has previously explained that the restriction on exercise and the evening curfew was introduced to help the South African Police Services (SAPS).
This combined with the return to work of more than eight million people, means far more movement that the police will need to monitor.
Alcohol and smoking
As part of the level 3 regulatory changes introduced by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), South Africans will now be allowed to purchase alcohol.
The regulations state that the sale of liquor will be permitted between Monday- and Thursday and between 09h00 – 17h00. Online sales will be subject to the same times, while no liquor may be consumed onsite.
The sale of tobacco products remains prohibited – although this issue is set to be challenged in court in the coming week.
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Government has removed the country’s evening curfew (20h00 – 05h00) under the latest regulations and will allow inter-provincial travel for workers.
These workers require a permit from their place of employment to show their purpose for travelling.
Other travel changes announced by government include:
- The Department of Transport has published a new directive which extends the validity of expired licences and registrations for 90 days from 1 June;
- Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula has indicated that some rail services will now be allowed to operate during the level 3 lockdown – including the Gautrain;
- Mbalula has also published a directive allowing for domestic air travel for business purposes.
Tourism and leisure
Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says her department is putting together a proposal to submit to the National Coronavirus Command Council to allow restaurants to open up more services under lockdown level 3.
In a media briefing on Saturday, she also outlined the following areas that have been opened up under Level 3:
- Restaurants for delivery or collection of food. Restaurants with liquor licences are allowed to sell alcohol only for takeout and delivery;
- Professional services – e.g. tourist guides, tour operators, travel agents, tourism information officers are allowed to come back to operations;
- Professional Services, including training of nature guides and other related services that are able to ensure safe distance;
- Public and private game farms have been opened for self-drive excursions;
- Hiking to be done in compliance with existing guidelines and not in groups;
- Accommodation activities are allowed, except for leisure;
- Establishments will no longer require a letter from minister of Tourism to operate. They are required to ensure that they accommodate those in the permitted services and keep records for inspections by the department;
- Hunting and gaming activities are also allowed.
Kubayi-Ngubane said that following economic activities remain prohibited:
- Conferences, events, and entertainment activities (except venues that are being used in the fight against the pandemic, eg. distribution points of social relief measures);
- Leisure travel.
The Department of Basic Education has delayed the reopening of the country’s schools by a week to better prepare for the return of students.
Schools will open for all grade 7 and 12 pupils on Monday, 8 June 2020, the Department of Basic Education said in a statement on Sunday evening.
The announcement comes after the education department published the updated academic calendar for schools in South Africa on Friday (29 May).
In the directive, the department said that the return of students in other grades will be staggered, with some students returning from 6 July, while the last of the country’s learners are expected to return from 3 August.
The below table outlines the return dates for all grades as well as remedial schools.
Places of worship
One of the most controversial new changes is the partial reopening of places of worship.
Under level 4, all religious gatherings, except for funerals, were banned to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
There were then calls for Ramaphosa to allow churches and other religious institutions to open under alert level 3 of the lockdown.
The president said there was subsequently a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council which considered the inputs in recent consultations with interfaith leaders.
Following this meeting, Ramaphosa announced that current restrictions on religious gatherings will be eased.
He said places of worship – including churches, synagogues, temples and mosques – will be allowed to open under alert level 3.
Regulations published by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs further outline the restrictions – including a hard limit of 50 people inside places of worship.