Adjusted Alert Level 3 in Force

On 28 December 2020 President Ramaphosa in an unusually emotional address to the nation, dubbed “family meeting”, announced that from 29 December 2020, 0h00, until 15 January 2021, 23h59, an adjusted Alert Level 3 will apply to all residents of South Africa, whether local or foreign, corporate or individual.

The increased restrictions are in reaction to what is considered the “Second Wave” and in light of various “Super-Spreader Events” that took place mainly in KZN, Eastern Cape, Garden Route and Cape Town and pushed the daily infection numbers up to almost 18 000 a day, even higher than on the worst days of the first wave of the pandemic.

In addition, South Africa needs to counteract the new variation of COVID-19, the 501.V2 strain, which is 70-times more infectious than the previous one.

Therefore, and following suggestions of the NCCC, COGTA published the latest amendment to restrictions under the Disaster Management Act, referred to as “ADJUSTED ALERT LEVEL 3 REGULATIONS”, which were published on 29 December 2020 as Notice No. 1423 in Government Gazette No. 44044. As it was done under time pressure, the individual rules and regulations are not very transparent, therefore here a summary as reference:

WEARING OF MASKS

Mandatory in Public at ALL (sic!) times, excluded are only vigorous exercises and tasks of employees that cannot be executed when wearing a mask. Not wearing a mask now constitutes a criminal offence, punishable with fines and jail up to six months.

CURFEW FOR INDIVIDUALS

General:          21h00 – 06h00

Hotspots:        21h00 – 06h00 (sic!)

Emergency:     unlimited

During curfew individuals located in hotspot areas must stay at their general place of residence, no overnighting at other places unless it is at a hotel, guest house or game farm as this is considered the place of residency during the booked stay.

BUSINESSES CLOSING AT 20h00

  • Cinemas;
  • Theatres;
  • Casinos;
  • Museums, galleries and archives;
  • Gyms and fitness centres;
  • Restaurants;
  • Venues hosting auctions; and
  • Venues hosting professional sport.

CLOSED BUSINESSES, AREAS & FACILITIES

  • Liquor Stores;
  • Public Swimming Pools;
  • Beaches in Hotspots;
  • Dams;
  • Lakes and Riverfronts;
  • Night Clubs;
  • Bars;
  • Taverns;
  • Shebeens; and
  • Public Parks in hotspot areas.

LIMITED OPENING HOURS

  • Beaches outside hotspot areas:      06h00 – 19h00
  • Game Parks:                                       06h00 – 18h00
  • Botanical Gardens:                           09h00 – 18h00
  • Zoos:                                                    09h00 – 18h00
  • Aquariums:                                        09h00 – 18h00

GATHERINGS NOT ALLOWED

  • Social;
  • Political; and
  • Faith-based.

FUNERALS

  • Not more than 50 people;
  • Not longer than 2 hours;
  • No Night Vigils; and
  • No “after-tear” gatherings

LIQUOR

No public consumption, sales or transport of liquor is allowed – neither within nor outside hotspot areas.

RESTAURANTS

Closing Time 20h00 so that guests and employees are back at their residences before curfew (21h00). Maximum capacity is 50% of the occupation certificate, limited to 50 for indoor restaurants and 100 for outdoor restaurants. Staff has to be included.

No buffets. No alcohol. Staff to wear masks at all times.

ACCOMMODATION

Applies to all hotels, guesthouses, lodges and time shares: Full capacity allowed, adhering to strict physical distancing rules and staff wearing masks at all times. No buffets. No alcohol.

The accommodation for business or leisure travel is considered for the time of the booking temporary residence in terms of all other regulations

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