As South Africa prepares for the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, the government’s Coronavirus Command Council has clarified the new regulations which will govern the lives of citizens from 1 June.
While the curfew which at Level 4 restricted people to their homes between 8pm at night and 5am in the morning has been lifted, a number of restrictions on movement remain in place.
Movement of people
People may only leave their homes for work, to procure groceries and essential services, exercise or perform any of the other activities permitted under Level 3.
Visiting with family and friends, exercising in groups and attending large gatherings is still forbidden.
Pupils and tertiary students may travel between their homes and their institutions of learning.
You may not move between provinces, metropolitan areas or districts except in the course of performing a service permitted under level 3, to attend a funeral, transport mortal remains, care for a sick relative or for work purposes. In each instance, a permit is required.
You may move house, but you will need a permit from the relevant authority.
All those above the age of 60, and those with underlying medical conditions, should leave home only in exceptional circumstances.
Domestic workers and private carers
All domestic workers and other care workers employed in private households may return to work, as long as their employer ensures that adequate safety measures are in place.
The employer is also required to issue them with a permit.
The restriction on the hours when people can exercise have been eased, but not completely lifted.
You may now exercise at any time, as long as it is not an organised group activity.
Gyms, exercise centres, beaches, public parks, sports grounds and swimming pools will remain closed.
All retail outlets will be open with stringent health protocols in place. Likewise, all economic sectors are allowed to operate except those with high risk.
The consumption of food and alcohol in restaurants, bars, shebeens and taverns is still prohibited.
The sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products remains prohibited
Sale and transport of alcohol
The ban on alcohol sales has been lifted but the regulations only permit for liquor to be sold at predetermined times, and under strict conditions
Alcohol can be sold only on Monday to Thursday between 9am and 5pm. No alcohol sales are permitted on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays.
Traders will be permitted to sell alcohol for consumption off-site and the consumption of alcohol at the place of sale is prohibited.
Only funerals and religious gatherings are permitted and these are capped at 50 persons, depending on the size of the place of worship.
All health protocols and social distancing measures must be adhered to as provided for directions that have been issued by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
In the coronavirus hotspots announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Justice Cluster will conduct patrols, roadblocks, and vehicle check points.
The South African Police, SANDF and local law enforcement authorities will work together to control movement in these areas.
The hours of operation of minibus, metred and e-hailing taxi operators will no longer be limited .
Commuters will have to wait another month before Metrorail begins operating again. However, t he Gautrain, which resumed operations at the beginning of May, will resume the airport service on June 1.
Public transport operators offering long distance services will be allowed to operate, provided that they only carry paasengers permitted to travel between provinces under the Disaster Management regulations.
Categories of persons permitted to travel long distance:
- Persons undertaking work responsibilities or performing a service permitted under Alert Level 3, provided they are in possession of the requisite permit;
- Persons moving to a new place of residence;
- Persons caring for an immediate family member;
- Learners or students who have to commute to and from those schools or institutions of higher learning during periods when those schools or institutions are permitted to operate;
- Persons travelling to attend funerals;
- Persons transporting mortal remains;
- Persons travelling to obtain medical treatment;
- Persons returning to their place of residence from a quarantine or isolation facility;
- Children moving between custodial parents;
- Members of Parliament performing oversight responsibilities.
Domestic air travel will be permitted with aircraft allowed to carry their full capacity. T he rollout of domestic flights will be done in three phases, and that the number of flights per day will be restricted.
Which airports will be allowed to open under the three phases:
OR Tambo International Airport
Cape Town International Airport
King Shaka International Airport, and
Lanseria International Airport
Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
Polokwane International Airport
Bram Fischer International Airport (Bloemfontein)
East London Airport
Port Elizabeth Airport
The country’s borders remain closed, except for the movement of goods and the repatriation of citizens.
The ban on passenger vessels and cruise liners will remain in place and only vessels bringing in cargo would be allowed to call on South African ports.
Allowance will be made for South African registered seafarers to embark and disembark ships with a mandatory quarantine for those returning.
Hotels and leisure accommodation remain closed, but the following activities that will be allowed under level 3 include:
- Professional services, such as tourist guides, tour operators, travel agents, and tourism information officers;
- Professional services, including training of nature guides and other related services able to ensure safe physical distancing;
- Public and private game farms for self-drive excursions;
- Hiking in compliance with existing guidelines and not in groups;
- Accommodation activities except for leisure, and establishments would no longer require a letter from the minister to operate. They were required to ensure that they accommodated those in the permitted services and kept records for inspections by the department; and
- Hunting and gaming activities.
Sports teams can begin training under Level 3 regulations but it matches won’t be able to resume just yet. The PSL as well as Super Rugby teams will be able to start non-contact training next week but according to the rules, games can only take place from Level 1.