Updated level 1 lockdown rules for schools and travel in South Africa

 ·25 Oct 2021

The government has gazetted updated regulations for South Africa’s adjusted level 1 lockdown, including changes for schools and transport.

The changes include the relaxation of restrictions for air travel and updated regulations around school gatherings, sports, and extra-curricular activities.

The changes are outlined in more detail below.

This article has been updated to clarify that negative Covid-19 tests are not yet a requirement for domestic travel. The department has withdrawn and republished the gazette, correcting the error.

Domestic travel

An airline operator is allowed to provide pre-packaged catering onboard the aircraft but must take all measures Covid-19 health measures into account.

An airline operator may make complimentary magazines available, which passengers must pick up when entering the aircraft. Passengers are not allowed to share these magazines.

International travel 

A traveller must provide a valid certificate with a negative Covid-19 test outcome, recognised by the World Health Organisation or equivalent local accredited authority, obtained no more than 72 hours before the date of travel.

South African authorities reserve the right to verify the authenticity of the presented certificate.

International scheduled operations and charter flights carrying passengers are allowed at the following airports:

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

Long-haul flight departures and landings at the airports listed above are permitted during the hours of the curfew. However, passengers are required to present a valid boarding pass if stopped by law enforcement.


The following activities may resume at schools with spectators:

  • Contact sport, non-contact sport, including training, intra-school and inter-school matches, and all arts and culture intra-school and interschool activities;
  • Co-curricular and enrichment programmes, such as oral history, spelling bee, moot court, speech contests, debates and school clubs, may resume activities including competitive inter-school events and engagements;
  • Choir practice or rehearsals and choir competitions.

The following health and safety measures must be adhered to when resuming events or activities contemplated in this direction:

  • Face masks must be worn by all persons entering the venues where the activities take place, change rooms or training areas, except when participating in training or matches accompanied by vigorous exercise;
  • There must be sufficient quantities of hand sanitisers, with at least 70% alcohol content, available for use by all officials, coaches, assistants, learners and participants;
  • There must be facilities for washing of hands with soap and water;
  • All windows and doors must remain open to ensure adequate ventilation;
  • Subject to the requirements of any contact activity, social distancing must be maintained at all times;
  • The sharing of drinks and drink containers is not allowed;
  • A Covid-19 compliance officer must be appointed for each venue;
  • All participants must undergo health and temperature screening before warm-up or an event;
  • Any person who enters the venue must undergo health and temperature screening;
  • Hand sanitisers must be available at the entrance gate, and every person who enters the venue must sanitise their hands;
  • Participants and officials must sanitise their hands before and after a match or event;
  • A person who leaves the venue temporarily and returns must undergo the process of health and temperature screening and hand sanitising;
  • For contact tracing purposes only, a register of all officials, learners and spectators from visiting and hosting schools who are attending a school match or event must be kept by the hosting school for at least 21 days.

Read: Future lockdowns in South Africa should be for people who don’t vaccinate: CEO

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