Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published a new gazette which officially introduces new lockdown restrictions for South Africa ahead of the festive season.
The gazette gives effect to an address made by president Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday evening (14 December), in which he announced new measures at both a national and district level for South Africa.
The document provides clarity on issues such as hotspots, movement of persons, closing times and public gatherings. The key changes are outlined in more detail below.
Notification of hotpots
The gazette requires all district municipalities to notify of an increase in Covid-19 cases. Specifically, the municipalities must, after consultation with its local municipalities in its area:
- Alert communities within that district of the increasing number of infections that could lead to that district being declared a hotspot;
- Publish on their websites and in the local media, areas with high infection rates within the district; and
- Update the information as and when it becomes available.
Every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 23h00 until 04h00 daily, except in areas declared a hotspot.
This is the case unless has been granted permission to perform an essential service or faces an emergency. The gazette also states that the following establishments must close at 22h00 daily:
- Faith-based institutions;
- Venues where social events are hosted;
- Venues hosting concerts and live performances;
- Museums, galleries and archives;
- Gyms, fitness centres and swimming pools;
- Restaurants, bars, taverns, shebeens and similar establishments;
- Venues hosting sport, arts and culture activities; and
- Any other place where a gathering may take place.
South Africans will be required to wear masks in the following areas:
- On any form of public transport;
- When entering a building, place or premises, including government buildings, places or premises, used by the public to obtain goods or services;
- In any public open space.
All employers must adopt measures to promote physical distancing of employees. An employer may not allow any employee to perform any duties or enter the employment premises if the employee is not wearing a cloth face mask, homemade item, or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth while performing his or her duties.
South Africans will not be required to wear a mask when undertaking vigorous exercise in a public place, provided that the person maintains a distance of at least one and a half metres from any other person.
Attendance of funerals
Attendance of a funeral is limited to a maximum of 100 persons, with persons observing a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other, and if the venue is too small to hold 100 persons observing a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other, then not more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.
All night vigils and after-funeral gatherings are prohibited.
Gatherings at the following places or events are limited to 100 persons or less in case of an indoor gathering and 250 persons or less in case of an outdoor gathering,
If the venue is too small to hold 100 persons observing a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other, then not more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.
- Social events;
- Political events and traditional council meetings;
- Conferences and meetings;
- Concerts and live performances;
- Cinemas and theatres.
Gatherings at beaches are allowed subject to the following exceptions and conditions:
- Beaches in the Eastern Cape province will be closed to the public from 16 December 2020 until 3 January 2021;
- Beaches in the Garden Route District will be closed to the public from 16 December 2020 until 3 January 2021;
- Beaches in the KwaZulu-Natal province will be closed to the public on 16, 25, 26 and 31 December 2020 and 1, 2 and 3 January 2021;
- Beaches in the Northern Cape and the Western Cape provinces (excluding the Garden Route District beaches) will be open to the public;
- Festivals, live music, live performances and loud music at beaches are prohibited.
All beaches that are open to the public shall:
- Be open between 09h00 and 18h00;
- Be monitored for compliance with all health protocols, wearing of face -masks and social distancing measures;
- Any loud music, whether live or otherwise, is prohibited.
Non-compliance with the prohibitions, conditions, days of opening of beaches, and wearing of face-masks and social distancing measures will result in the closure of those non -complying beaches throughout the festive season.
Sale and dispensing of liquor
The sale of liquor by licensed premises for off-site consumption is only permitted from 10h00 to 18h00, from Mondays to Thursdays, excluding Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Liquor may be sold by licensed premises for on-site consumption, subject to strict adherence to the curfew.
The consumption of liquor in public places, except in licensed on-site consumption premises, is not permitted.