South Africa’s new lockdown rules – here are the things you still can’t do

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published a new gazette which updates South Africa’s level 3 lockdown rules.

While a number of tacit restrictions remain in place – including the closure of the country’s borders and the purchasing of tobacco products – the directive also outlines a number of specific restrictions.

Notably, the following places and premises remain closed to the public.

  • Gyms and fitness centres;
  • Sports grounds and fields and swimming pools, except for training of professional athletes and non -contact sports matches as referred to in regulation and contact sports for training only;
  • Fêtes and bazaars;
  • Night clubs;
  • Accommodation establishments not formally accredited and licensed, such as private homes for paid leisure accommodation (ie, Airbnb);
  • Conference facilities, except for business use;
  • Any on-consumption premises, including bars, taverns, shebeens and similar establishments;
  • Beaches and public parks.

Specific economic exclusions

In addition to the above restrictions, the following ‘specific economic exclusions’ remain in place:

  • On-site consumption of liquor;
  • Short term home-sharing /letting /leasing /rental for leisure purposes;
  • Domestic passenger air travel for leisure purposes, until directions with health protocols and social distancing measures are issued by the relevant Cabinet member responsible for transport;
  • Passenger ships for leisure purposes;
  • Sporting events, except as provided for in Chapter 4 of the Regulations;
  • Exclusions relating to public transport services as set out in the directions issued by the Cabinet member responsible for transport;
  • Exclusions relating to education services as set out in the directions issued by the Cabinet members responsible for education.

Smoking ban 

One of the most notable omissions in the new regulations is the continued prohibition on the sale of tobacco products.

A number of South Africans are now eagerly awaiting the High Court judgement surrounding South Africa’s ban on the sale of cigarettes.

The case was brought against government by the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) which argued that the banning of the sale of cigarettes is irrational.

While government argued that smoking could lead to an increase in coronavirus cases and even death, Fita said that this is not an issue that is limited to cigarettes.

The judgement is set to be emailed to the parties, with Fita warning that misleading messages circulating on social media have incorrectly stated that the judgement has been handed down.

“We have been made aware of a number of communications doing the rounds on different social media platforms claiming that the Pretoria High Court has made a ruling on the cigarette ban matter. This is not correct and is misleading,” Fita said. 

“We will make the necessary announcement once we are in receipt of the judgement from the Pretoria High Court. We thank you as always for your continued support throughout this entire period.”

British American Tobacco South Africa (BAT South Africa) has confirmed that it will also challenge the ban in the Western Cape High Court.

BAT South Africa said that it has submitted its replying affidavit and now expects the case to be heard 30 June.

Read: Government working on new cannabis laws for South Africa

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South Africa’s new lockdown rules – here are the things you still can’t do