Most of South Africa opens up under lockdown level 3 – here’s a comprehensive list

The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has gazetted the adjusted lockdown level 3 regulations, giving effect to the new rules laid out by president Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday evening (25 July).

The gazette goes into deeper detail on the adjusted lockdown rules, which opens up most of the country’s economic activities, although with some limits.

Chief among the adjustments is the unbanning of alcohol sales, and the removal of the interprovincial travel ban on Gauteng.

The following regulations are now in effect under lockdown level 3:


A curfew is still in effect from 22h00 to 04h00 each day.

All venues and gatherings must end at 21h00, to give people and employees time to get home before curfew comes into effect.

The following activities are open to the public during these hours:

  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Casinos
  • Gyms and Fitness Centres
  • Museums, galleries and archives
  • Public swimming pools
  • Beaches and parks
  • Game parks, botanical gardens, aquariums and zoos
  • Restaurants, bars, shebeens and taverns
  • Religious venues
  • Auction houses
  • Professional sport venues
  • Public, social and political gatherings


Interprovincial travel between Gauteng and the rest of South Africa is now open.

The 20 land borders that have been open thus far remain open, while 33 borders remain closed.

International travel is still limited to five airports:

  • OR Tambo International Airport
  • King Shaka International Airport
  • Cape Town International Airport
  • Lanseria International Airport
  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport

Travel into and out of South Africa is permitted, during the hours of curfew. Arrivals outside of curfew hours are permitted to travel to their destination.

International arrivals must produce a negative Covid-19 certificate not older than 72 hours. If a certificate isn’t available, travellers will need to conduct a test upon departure at their own expense.


Alcohol sales are permitted again, albeit with certain limitations.

The sale of alcohol for off-site consumption is limited to 10h00 to 18h00 from Monday to Thursday, with no sales permitted on Fridays, weekends and public holidays. This does not apply to duty-free shops at airports, which are allowed to sell alcohol in line with their licence terms.

Alcohol can be sold for on-site consumption at restaurants, bars, shebeens and taverns in line with their licence terms, until 20h00.

Registered wine farms and micro-breweries can also continue to operate and sell wine and brews for on-site and off-site consumption until 20h00.

The transport of liquor is now allowed, but drinking in public is still prohibited.


The general rule for gatherings is that they are limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Where venues are too small to accommodate these numbers, they are limited to 50% capacity.

The one exception to this is funerals, which are limited to 50 people. In all cases, face masks are compulsory, as is the law when in public.

Some specifics on gatherings include:

  • Hotels, lodges and the hospitality industry, in general, are allowed to operate at full capacity.
  • Sports events can only be attended by teams, journalists, and other professionals.

The responsibility of ensuring the attendance restrictions are adhered to falls on venue owners and managers – but the regulations specify that attendees also carry the responsibility, and could face the same consequences if they take part in events that they know exceed the gathering limits.

Still closed

The adjusted regulations open up much of the country’s economy and activities, but five things remain banned during this time:

  1. South Africans may not attend any sporting events or activities as spectators.
  2. Night clubs remain closed.
  3. Night vigils are banned.
  4. After funeral events, including ‘after-tears’, remain prohibited.
  5. Any passenger ships, including small crafts, for international leisure travel.

Other areas that are set out as specific exclusions under the regulations include the 33 land borders outside of the 20 that are open and any exclusions listed by the transport and education sectors in their own gazettes.

Night clubs are singled out as the only general economic activity that is currently fully closed to the public, with Cogta warning of fines or imprisonment for any nightclub owners found to be in contravention of these regulations.

Read: Government’s plan to help businesses recover from looting and Covid-19 impact – including tax breaks

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Most of South Africa opens up under lockdown level 3 – here’s a comprehensive list