Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has gazetted the latest amendments to the Disaster Management Act, giving effect to the move to lockdown level 3 announced by president Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night.
The gazette officially moves the country to an adjusted lockdown level 3, and changes the rules and regulations in place to protect the country from a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the third set of regulations associated with this particular lockdown level.
The move aims to limit super-spreader events further, and will adjust previous level 3 regulations to keep the economy as open as possible. It also allows government to focus on the social distancing measures, and aims to ease the pressure on hospitals and health workers.
The change follows meetings held by Ramaphosa and his cabinet as part of the National Coronavirus Command Council on Sunday, and came as the country surpassed 1 million cumulative Covid-19 infections and record daily increases.
A further 7,458 new cases were recorded on 28 December, taking the cumulative total since the start of the pandemic to 1,011,871. The country has reported 27,071 deaths from the virus, according to the latest data from the Department of Health.
“We have let down our guard, and unfortunately we are now paying the price,” Ramaphosa said. “We can only weather this storm if we immediately and fundamentally change our mindsets.”
Every person will be confined to their place of residence from 21h00 to 06h00, and will not be allowed out unless they are granted exemption from a relevant cabinet minister via regulation (essential services), or need to attend to a medical or security emergency.
Businesses will have to close their doors at 20h00. This includes:
Wearing face masks is now compulsory for every person in a public place. Any person who fails to comply with verbal instructions by an enforcement officer to wear one is committing an offence and may face prosecution.
This could results in a fine, or jail time not exceeding six months, or both.
You will not be allowed to use public transport or enter any public buildings without a mask. Employers are not allowed to let their employees work without a face mask.
The only exception is that a face mask is not required when doing ‘vigorous exercise’ – however it is up to the minister of health to determine what constitutes this type of exercise.
Businesses and venues
Business and venues will have to determine the area of floor space on their premises and use this information to determine the exact number of customers and employees allowed at any given time.
Social distancing measures need to be enforced at all times, and sanitisers must be available for use. Failure to follow these regulations is an offence and can result in a fine or imprisonment, or both.
The following are closed to the public:
Attendance at funerals is limited to a maximum of 50 people, and the duration is limited to 2 hours. Night vigils are still not allowed, and after-funeral gatherings are banned. Attendees must wear a mask, and venue capacity may not exceed 50%.
All gatherings, including faith-based gatherings are prohibited for 14 days. This includes political and traditional council events.
Gatherings for the purposes of work are permitted, but need to follow strict social distancing measures.
At no point can the number of people exceed 50% of a venue’s capacity, if it is too small to take 50 people.
However, dining and entertainment facilities at these places must follow the same guidelines as above.
Sport event, both professional and non-professional are allowed, but must follow the new regulations which include:
Travel is still permitted. It is up to the ministers of transport and health to determine the specific directions for this sector. The regulations specify that these departments need to prepare for the return of South Africans to work, and need to lay out the plans for domestic air travel and other public transport systems.
Some specifics for public transport include:
Alcohol sales are banned, for both off-site and on-site consumption.
Consumption of alcohol in public spaces is prohibited, and wine tasting and the selling of liquor to the public in any form is not allowed.
Transporting liquor is also banned, except where it’s for the use in the manufacturing of hand sanitisers and household cleaning products, for export purposes, or for storage.