Cape Town – On Monday, South Africans will awaken to a new level of freedom as the country moves to Alert Level 1 of the country’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a number of important changes to the rules on social and religious gatherings that have governed our lives since March.
* Social, religious, political and other gatherings will be permitted, as long as the number of people does not exceed 50% of the normal capacity of a venue, up to a maximum of 250 people for indoor gatherings and 500 people for outdoor gatherings.
Health protocols, such as washing or sanitising of hands, social distancing and mask-wearing, will need to be strictly observed.
* The maximum number of people who may attend a funeral is increased from 50 to 100 due to the higher risk of viral transmission at funerals. Night vigils are still not permitted.
Gyms and entertainment
* Venues for exercise, recreation and entertainment – such as gyms and theatres – which were limited to no more than 50 people, will now be allowed to accommodate up to 50% of their venue’s capacity as determined by available floor space, subject to social distancing and other health protocols.
* International travel is permitted but travellers will only be able to use one of the land border posts that have remained operational during the lockdown or one of the three main airports: King Shaka, OR Tambo and Cape Town International Airport. Travel may be restricted to and from certain countries that have high infection rates.
* The sale of alcohol at retail outlets for home consumption is now permitted from Monday to Friday, from 09h00 to 17h00.
* Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only and with strict adherence to the curfew.
* Existing restrictions on sporting events remain in place.
* Stores are only allowed 50% of the total number of shoppers its floor space allows.
* The curfew will now apply between midnight and 4 am.
* You are still not permitted in public without a cloth mask which covers the nose and mouth. The previously gazetted regulations which make it a criminal offence to not wear a mask remain in place.