Here are the official level 1 lockdown rules for South Africa – including opening borders and limits on gatherings

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published a series of directives which outline the country’s move to a level 1 lockdown and the new rules that are in place.

In the first directive, Dlamini-Zuma confirms that the country will move to a level 1 lockdown from 00h01 on Monday morning (21 September).

In the second directive, the Cogta minister provides more clarification on the changes announced by President Cyril Ramamphosa in his national address on Wednesday evening.

The biggest changes are outlined in more detail below.


Re-opening of borders 

From 1 October 2020, all travellers from the African continent and from countries outside the African continent with a low rate of Covid-19 infection and transmission, will resume.

This will be subject to:

  • The traveller providing a valid certificate of a negative test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel; and
  • In the event of the traveller’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative test, the traveller will be required to quarantine at his or her own costs.

To temporarily control entry into South Africa from countries outside the African continent, the relevant cabinet members shall, after consultation with the cabinet member responsible for health, determine in directions:

  • Criteria for controlling entry into the Republic, from such countries with a high Covid-19 infection and transmission rate;
  • The list of such countries with a high Covid-19 infection and transmission rate, which list may, from time to time, be amended.
  • International travel from countries listed as having a high Covid-19 infection and transmission rate, will remain prohibited except for business travel which may be allowed with the approval of the Cabinet member responsible for home affairs.

All commercial seaports will be opened but international air travel is restricted to the following airports:

  • OR Tambo International Airport;
  • King Shaka International Airport; and
  • Cape Town International Airport.

The list of high risk and safe countries is still to be finalised. It will be published by the respective department, before travel opens up on 1 October, Dlamini-Zuma said.

The minister said the list will be changing as new data becomes available, and won’t be a one-off. Long-term visas will be activated from 1 October.


Gatherings 

Every person, when attending a gathering, and in order to limit exposure to Covid-19, must:

  • Wear a face mask;
  • Adhere to all health protocols;
  • Maintain a distance of least one and a half metres from each other; and
  • Adhere to any other health protocols and social distancing measures as provided for in directions issued by the relevant cabinet member after consultation with the cabinet member responsible for health.

In addition, an owner or operator of any indoor or outdoor facility where gatherings are held must display the certificate of occupancy which sets out the maximum number of persons the facility may hold.

The directive also outlines the following rules for specific gatherings, provided that no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue is used, with persons observing a distance of least one and a half metres from each other.

Other notable rules include:

  • Gatherings at faith-based institutions are limited to 250 persons or less in case of an indoor gathering and 500 persons or less in case of an outdoor gathering;
  • Gatherings at social events are limited to 250 persons or less in case of an indoor gathering and 500 persons or less in case of an outdoor gathering;
  • Gatherings at political events and traditional council meetings are limited to 250 persons or less in case of an indoor gathering and 500 persons or less in case of an outdoor gathering;
  • Gatherings at conferences and meetings are limited to 250 persons or less in case of an indoor gathering and 500 persons or less in case of an outdoor gathering. Provided that persons participating through electronic platforms are not included in these limitations;
  • Gatherings at a workplace for work purposes are allowed;
  • Gatherings for recreational purposes at cinemas, theatres, concerts and live performances are limited to 250 persons or less in case of an indoor gathering and 500 persons or less in case of an outdoor gathering;
  • Gatherings at casinos are limited to not more than 50% of the capacity of the venue, with persons observing a distance of least one and a half metres from each other.

Alcohol sales

The sale of liquor is permitted:

  • By licensed premises for off-site consumption is permitted from 09h00 to 17h00, from Mondays to Fridays, excluding weekends and public holidays;
  • By licensed premises for on-site consumption is permitted, subject to strict adherence to the curfew.

Funerals 

Attendance at  funerals is limited to 100 persons or less:

  • Provided that not more than 50% of the capacity of the venue is used, with persons observing a distance of least one and a half metres from each other.
  • Night vigils are not allowed.
  • During a funeral, a person must wear a face mask and adhere to all health protocols and social distancing measures.

Curfew

Every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 00h01 until 04h00 daily, except where a person  has been granted a permission for work purposes or is attending to a security or medical emergency.


Masks 

  • A person must, when in a public place, wear a face mask, except when undertaking vigorous exercise; and
  • May not be allowed to be in a public place, use any form of public transport, or enter a public building, place or premises, if that person is not wearing a face mask.

Closed to the public and exclusions 

The following areas remain closed and/or are specifically excluded under the country’s level 1 lockdown:

  • Night vigils;
  • Night clubs;
  • The 35 land borders that remain closed;
  • Initiation practices;
  • Passenger ships for international leisure purposes;
  • Attendance of any sporting event by spectators;
  • International sports events;
  • Exclusions relating to certain public transport services;
  • Exclusions relating to certain education services.

You can read the full level 1 directive below:\


Read: South Africa’s latest alcohol rules a ‘punch in the gut’

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Here are the official level 1 lockdown rules for South Africa – including opening borders and limits on gatherings