COVID-19 LOCKDOWN – Regulations, Directives and Notices

All Lockdown Rules, Regulations and Notices are based on the President’s Address of the Nation on the Coronavirus on 23 March 2020. The best way to draw a picture of all one can or cannot do and what is open and what is closed is to sort by Alphabetical Keywords what has been said, governed or ruled for the Lockdown Period.

Lockdown in this context shall mean:

  • Every person is confined to his or her place of residence, unless strictly for the purpose of performing an Essential Service (Annexure B.B COGTA Notice) or Critical Service (List of Critical Services), obtaining an Essential Good (Annexure B.A COGTA Notice) or service, collecting a social grant, or seeking emergency, lifesaving, or chronic medical attention.
  • Movement means entering or leaving a place of residence or, in the case of people nor ordinarily resident in the Republic, their place of temporary residence while in the Republic.
  • The lockdown did commence on midnight Friday 27 March and is expected to last for 21 days until 16 April 2020, 23h59.

Here are the most pertinent topics addressed by the Government for the time period of the National Lockdown as well as the references to the original documents, which have been uploaded to our “Into SA Information Library” on Africa and can be downloaded, of course free of charge:

Airports & Airlines

All local flights have been suspended and all international flights to and from Lanseria. SAA has cancelled all international flights until 31 May 2020. There is a variety of airlines internationally, which have terminated all their flights, such as popular Emirates Airlines, but some airlines are still flying, often with empty seats. There will be no flights leaving OR Tambo during the Lockdown.

Tourists that will not make it out of the country by that time will have to spend the remaining lockdown days at their original accommodation.


-> see “Shops”

Beaches and Public Pools

All Beaches and Public Pools will be closed to the public.

S11B, Annexure D©(i) COGTA Notice

Borders of South Africa

All borders will be closed except for fuel and transport of Essential Goods.


Every business – unless involved in manufacturing, supply or provision of Essential Goods or Services will be closed during Lockdown.


All places or premises normally open to the public for religious activities and worship will be closed independent on the faith prevailing at that place.

S11B(4), Annexure D(a) COGTA Notice

Dog Walking

Opposed to what Minister Mkhize stated earlier, residents will not be allowed to walk their dogs.

Food Delivery Services

All Food Delivery Services, be it through the restaurants itself or Delivery Services such as Mr. delivery, Uber Eats etc. are suspended during the Lockdown.

Notice to the Restaurant Industry by the Ministry of Tourism


Attendance to a funeral is limited to 50 people (immediate family only) with all safety measures strictly applying; gatherings before, after tears or night vigils are not allowed. The funeral must be conducted at the bereaved home (not in tent, church, community hall or school) and must be finalised within one hour (including funeral procession). Catering only with take-aways, no sitting allowed.

s11B(8) Government Notice by COGTA
Municipal Notice for Funerals


-> see “Sport Venues

Home Affairs Department

Neither the Department of Home Affairs nor any Visa Facilitation Centre will be open due to the restricted travel as well as based the Immigration Directives No.3 and No.7.

Immigration Directive No.3 (Chinese Nationals)
Immigration Directive No.7 (Other Nationals)

Hospitals and Clinics

Patient with MaskAll hospitals and clinics remain open and are not limited to medical assistance with the Coronavirus alone, but for all acute health issues.

Attendance to chronic illnesses and routine check-ups will be limited or not available.

ID Books and Smart Cards

-> see “Home Affairs


There will be no jogging allowed in public or inside estates.


All theatres and cinemas will be closed and all festivals or gala events have been cancelled. Most of the scheduled movie premieres world-wide have been postponed, while some of them will premiere only on streaming services such as Showmax, Netflix or Amazon Prime.

S11B, Annexure D©(xiii) COGTA Notice


All Public Parks will be closed to the public.

S11B(4), Annexure D(c)(i) COGTA Notice


-> see “Home Affairs

Public Transport & e-Hailing Services

All Public Transport like Taxis, busses and trains will be shut down. Only e-hailing services like Uber, Bolt or Ramzy Rider will be able to operate but limited to the times between 5h00 and 9h00 in the morning and 16h00 to 20h00 in the evening only to buy Essential Goods, for Banking, Medical Care or accessing Essential Services and going to a Funeral. The number of occupants per vehicle has to remain below 50% of its licensed capacity.



All restaurants will be closed with no exception. They will also not be allowed to prepare takeaways or food for delivery.

Notice to the Restaurant Industry by the Ministry of Tourism


All schools are closed since 18 March 2020 and will stay closed until. The mid-term break will be therefore one week shorter in order to partly compensate for the education time lost.


Shoppers during Lockdown. All shops and shopping malls will be closed with the exception of supermarkets, which sell Essential Goods but excludes alcohol, and pharmacies and shop owner needs to ensure that customers are not within less than 1 sqm distance of each other. Shops which used to offer Essential and Non-Essential Goods are restricted to the sale of Essential Goods only, i.e. Woolworth will sell you bread and milk but none of their clothing items.

s11B COGTA Notice

The opening hours vary and may be extended to accommodate the transportation hours of e-hailing services like Uber, while Bars, Shebeens and Liquor stores will be closed. There will be no alcohol to be purchased anywhere during the Lockdown.


-> see “Shops”

Sports Venues

All sports venues, gyms or facilities to exercise team sports will be closed.

S11B(4), Annexure D(a) COGTA Notice

Tourists and Tourist Accommodation

All foreign tourists, who entered South Africa before or after the commencement of the Lockdown are to remain in the country at their temporary residence until either 14 days have passed or the Lockdown has ended.

s11B(6)© COGTA Notice

All hotels, lodges, guest houses, game reserves and holiday resorts are closed to the public and will be only kept operational as far as confined foreign tourists need to be catered for.

s11B(4), Annexure D©(vii),(viii) and (ix) COGTA Notice


For all Visa-related issues please see eINFO on Immigration Directives No. 3 and No.7. All Visa that expire during Lockdown can be extended and no person will be sent back to a country affected by the Coronavirus.

No overstay ban or fine will apply during this time and no Form 20 has to be obtained to submit an application after the end of the Lockdown. A Blanket Waiver in this regard applies and has to be invoked in writing only.

eINFO COVID-19 Immigration Directives

VfS – Visa Facilitation Centres

All VfS Offices will remain closed during the Lockdown, hence not even local Visa Applications or Extension Applications will be possible. However, after the Lockdown all BVisa in the meantime expired may be extended without applying for a Form 20 to legalise the applicant.

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