5 lockdown changes for August that you should know about

The government has made a number of changes to South Africa’s level 3 lockdown regulations as the country grapples the peak in coronavirus cases.

The changes are primarily aimed at the reintroduction of various parts of the economy, including concessions aimed at the restaurant industry as well as tourism and sport.

These new changes are outlined in more detail below.


Travel 

Last week Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced a number of new lockdown rule changes aimed at bolstering the tourism and restaurant industries.

Key among these changes is the lifting of restrictions around leisure travel.  Kubayi-Ngubane said that individuals will be allowed to leave their homes for leisure purposes – but only within their provinces.

Accommodation facilities will also be allowed to open for leisure purposes. However, no more than two people may share a room, with the exceptions of a ‘nuclear’ family  – two parents and up to two children.


Visa extensions

Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has published a new directive which extends the visa validity of foreign nationals who are currently in South Africa.

The new grace period for these foreign nationals is now 31 October and this is the date until which a person may leave the republic without being declared as ‘undesirable’.


Curfew 

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published a new directive which makes changes to the country’s level 3 lockdown rules.

One of the most notable changes is the revision of the evening curfew which was announced by Kubayi-Ngubane last week.

The directive states that every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 22h00 until 04h00 daily, except where a person has been granted a permit to operate as an essential service or is attending to a security or medical emergency.


Sports 

The directive states sporting activities are allowed, inclusive of both professional non-contact and contact sport matches, subject to:

  • Directions for sports matches issued by the Cabinet member responsible for sport after consultation with the Cabinet member responsible for health;
  • Only journalists, radio, television crew, security personnel, emergency medical services, and the necessary employees employed by the owners of the venue of the sport match, are allowed at the venue of the sports match;
  • Only the required number of players, match officials, support staff and medical crew required for the sport match, are allowed at the venue of the sports match;
  • No spectators are allowed at the venue or precinct of the sports match;
  • No international sport events are allowed.

Schools

The Department of Basic Education has also published the new school calendar for the 2020 academic year.

The updated calendar provides for new term dates as well the updated school holidays, as well as the return dates for a number of grades following a mandatory governmental break.

South Africa’s public schools began the four-week break from physical teaching from 27 July amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

While some students are due to return before this four-week break concludes, a number of grades have not returned to school since the introduction of restrictions in mid-March.

The department said that the school year will complete on 15 December 2020 for grades R to 11, and will not be carried over into 2021.

Matric exams will also be concluded by 15 December, the department said, with marking expected to be done by 22 January 2021, and the results released on 23 February 2021.

The 2021 school year will start on 25 January for teachers, and few days later for learners.

The full processes for schools can be read here.


Read: New lockdown rules for South African schools

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5 lockdown changes for August that you should know about