The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Corporate Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has published updated regulations for South Africa’s adjusted alert level 3 lockdown.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during his national address last night that South Africa would move to a lower level of lockdown as the number of daily new cases of Covid-19 continues to decline.
Experts have said the data on new cases and hospitalisations suggests that South Africa has crested the pandemic peak of its third wave.
However, they have also warned that the coming week will show whether the public violence and looting in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng earlier this month will lead to a surge in new Covid-19 cases.
In addition to relaxing restrictions on alcohol sales, reopening schools, allowing venues like cinemas and theatres to reopen, and extending the hours of curfew, Ramaphosa announced that people between the ages of 18 to 34 will be allowed to receive their vaccines from 1 September.
Those eligible for vaccines will be able to walk into a vaccination centre and be registered, making it easier for people who can’t use the online Electronic Vaccination Data System to receive their shots.
The President also announced several financial interventions including the return of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant of R350 per month and a commitment that the state insurance company Sasria will cover the losses businesses suffered due to the civil unrest from earlier this month.
Businesses affected by the violence that were uninsured will also receive support from government, stated Ramaphosa.
“Government will set aside dedicated funds for this purpose and we will soon announce a mechanism for these businesses to apply for support,” he said.
The updated lockdown regulations published by Dlamini-Zuma kicked in on the evening of 25 July 2021.
They are summarised below.
Curfew and mask mandate
It remains a criminal offence to not wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth while you are in a public place, with certain exceptions.
Failing to comply with an instruction from an enforcement officer to wear a mask may result in a fine and/or imprisonment of up to six months.
Everyone is confined to their homes from 22:00 until 04:00 unless they are performing an essential service as determined by a cabinet minister, have a permit, or are attending to a security or medical emergency.
If you have arrived on a late flight and must travel from the airport during the hours of curfew, you will be allowed to do so provided that you have a valid boarding pass or a copy of the airline ticket.
The closing time for the establishments like restaurants, taverns, cinemas, and casinos is at 21:00 to allow staff and patrons to get home before the start of the curfew.
Gatherings and funerals
Religious, social, political, and cultural gatherings have been unbanned but are restricted to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
If a venue can’t accommodate 50 people indoors or 100 outdoors while maintaining social distancing of at least 1.5 metres between people, it is restricted to 50% of its total capacity.
Funerals are permitted but are limited to a maximum of 50 attendees (depending on the capacity of the venue) and a maximum duration of two hours.
During a funeral, people must wear their masks and adhere to all health and safety protocols and social distancing measures. Night vigils and after-funeral gatherings remain forbidden.
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