Fewer COVID Cases prompt Alert Level 1

Due to the significantly dropped daily number of COVID infections, President Cyril Ramaphosa as advised by the National Coronavirus Command Council announced the move from Alert Level 3 to Level 1 on 28 February 2021, which came into effect yesterday, 1 March 2021, after the amended regulations had been gazetted by COGTA.

While only eight weeks ago South Africa was battling the second wave fueled by the new strain of COVCID-19, 501Y.V2, with over 20 000 new infections per day, it seems that more discipline under the lockdown regulations has led to figures that fell below 1 000 per day at the end of February. In his traditional “Family Hour” the President announced the “almost-return” to normality and kickstarting the ailing South African economy while keeping unnecessary infection risks at buy and continuing the wearing of masks, social distancing and limitations on attendance to certain functions and businesses. Here is what you need to know about the “clean dozen rules” of Alert Level 1:

  1. Curfew is now from Midnight until 04h00 in the morning;
  2. Social, political, cultural and religious Gatherings will be permitted, subject to limitations on size, adherence to social distancing and other health protocols;
  3. Maximum Attendance at one place is limited to 100 persons indoors and 250 persons outdoors, but where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used;
  4. Night Vigils and Wakes at funerals remain illegal;
  5. All Nightclubs remain closed;
  6. Alcohol Sales resume within the limitations of each liquor license issued, except during hours of curfew;
  7. Restaurants and Bars may stay open until 23h00;
  8. Masks are continued to be worn in public places at all times, not wearing a mask remains a criminal offence;
  9. Airlines are not allowed to serve meals during flights;
  10. 33 closed Border Posts remain closed, the remaining 20 Border Posts remain open;
  11. All five International Airports remain open with infection control measures in place; and
  12. All beaches, public parks and nature reserves are open.

The State of Disaster remains in place until its current termination date on 31 March 2021 as does the validity of all Visa issued to foreigners. Foreigners may leave South Africa until 31 March 2021 and not be declared undesirable even if their visa expired between 17 March 2020 and 31 March 2021. However, the lack of training at the border officials of the Department of Home Affairs has shown in the recent past that those rules might be violated and the departing person still be declared undesirable. If this happens to you, please contact us so we may overturn this ban.

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