In his latest Family Meeting on Sunday Night 25 July 2021, President Ramaphosa came as the bearer of good news when declaring the move down to an amended Lockdown Level 3 from midnight. The reason for this move was given by him as the peak of the third wave of Corona Infections being reached, but what else could he say? If one compares the first and second wave 2020 with the reactions of government and its reaction to 12 000 – 15 000 daily infections and between 400 and 500 daily casualties we should technically cruise between Lockdown Levels 4 and 5 at least as lower figures seemed to justify curbing the freedom of businesses and individuals.
However, the economy is still on its knees with certain sectors still closed and licking its wounds for months to come, wounds suffered from #UnrestSA and its associated loss of businesses and employment. The President had no choice but to ease restrictions, especially on the ban of alcohol as the hospitality industry as well as the alcoholic beverages manufacturers are nearing the brink of extinction. Here is what has and what has not changed last night by moving to an amended level 3 lockdown:
- Curfew remains in place between 22h00 and 04h00;
- Interprovincial leisure travel may resume, including to and from Gauteng;
- Non-essential establishments, such as restaurants, bars, gyms and fitness centres, can operate but must close by 21h00;
- Cinemas, Theatres and Casinos may operate under the same limitations;
- Maximum patrons allowed in above venues is limited to 50 (indoors) and 100 (outdoors) but capped by 50% of max. occupancy;
- Nightclubs remain closed;
- The sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption will be permitted between 10h00 and 18h00 from Monday to Thursday;
- Alcohol sales for on-site consumption at restaurants and bars will be permitted as per licence conditions but only until 20h00;
- Gatherings are allowed but are limited to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors. Only 50 people are allowed to attend funerals;
- Night vigils and after-funeral gatehrings remain prohibited;
- Schools will be allowed to reopen as of Monday (26 July);
- No additional land borders will be opened; and
- Beaches and Parks are open subject to curfew hours.
The wearing of masks remains compulsory and ignorance is considered a criminal offence rewarded with fines and prison time respectively. Exceptions are only granted for children under six years as well as people exercising vigorously. Social distancing needs to be adhered to in public by keeping 1.5m distance to the next person.
No eviction from land or home may take place until the end of the state of disaster.
The current lockdown level will apply for the coming 14 days unless amended on or before 8 August 2021.