Government opens sports venues to spectators in South Africa – with conditions

Cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published a new gazette, updating South Africa’s lockdown level 1 restrictions to allow sports venues to open to spectators.

According to the gazette, venues for both professional and non-professional sports can now open for spectators to attend, but they are still limited to the country’s overarching gathering restrictions.

That means that:

  • Indoor sports venues can have a maximum of 750 people in attendance;
  • Outdoor sports venues can have a maximum of 2,000 people in attendance;
  • If a venue is too small to accommodate these maximum limits, the limit is at 50% of that venue’s capacity.

The gazette puts the liability on the venue owner or event organiser to ensure these limits are adhered to, failing which they could be fined or face six months in prison. The new regulations are effective immediately.

“The decrease in the number of infections, as well as consultations with relevant stakeholders, has prepared the path for recognised sporting bodies to host sporting events, including both professional and non-professional competitions, subject to strict adherence to the guidelines,” said Dlamini Zuma.

“As we go out to sporting events to support our teams, let us do so recognising that Covid-19 is still with us. Let us unite in observing Covid-19 protocols by wearing masks, washing hands, and adhering to social distancing measures,” she said.

Under the adjusted lockdown level 1 restrictions introduced on 30 September, professional and non-professional sports events were allowed to take place; however, these activities were not open to spectators. Only journalists, production crew, and sports staff were previously allowed at the venues.

With spectators now allowed to attend, the list of activities that are strictly prohibited has been shortened to include:

  • Night vigils;
  • After-funeral gatherings;
  • Nightclubs;
  • Specified land borders remain closed;
  • Any specified exclusions from the public transport and education sector, as mentioned by the respective ministers.

Read: These are all South Africa’s adjusted level 1 lockdown changes – including vaccine certificates

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Government opens sports venues to spectators in South Africa – with conditions