South Africa back on level 3 of lockdown
The COVID-19 pandemic is now at its “most devastating” and South Africa will remain on the adjusted level 3 of the lockdown announced on 28 December 2020 until further notice, President Ramaphosa announced in an address to the nation on 11 January 2021. More than 190 000 cases and 4 600 deaths have been recorded since the start of 2021, and about a third of all COVID-19 patients currently require oxygen.
The surge in infections is largely driven by the new variant identified in South Africa last November, which has caused a “massive” increase in cases and put more pressure on the health system, Ramaphosa said. He confirmed that alcohol sales will remain prohibited and announced minor adjustments to the existing regulations as outlined below. With funerals being known superspreader events, he furthermore implored the nation to only attend funerals if it was “absolutely necessary”.
- Curfew amended to between 21:00 and 05:00, except for essential workers or in the case of a security or medical emergency.
- The 20 land ports of entry will close until 15 February 2021, with certain exemptions as outlined in the Regulations.
- It remains mandatory to wear a mask in public spaces. People who do not wear masks may be arrested and fined and/or imprisoned for up to six months.
- All social gatherings (indoor and outdoor) except funerals remain prohibited.
- Up to 50 people may attend a funeral. Funerals may not extend beyond two hours, and strict social distancing measures must be observed.
- Gatherings at the following places are allowed until 20:00, subject to restrictions on the number of people:
- Gyms and fitness centres
- Venues where professional sports are hosted.
- The sale of alcohol remains prohibited, also at licensed premises.
- Alcohol may not be consumed in public spaces.
- Transport of alcohol is prohibited, except for limited purposes as set out in the Regulations.
- All nightclubs, bars, taverns, shebeens, public parks and public swimming pools closed.
- Beaches, dams, rivers and lakes closed to the public for outdoor activities in areas declared as hotspots.
- National and provincial parks and other parks where access control measures and entry limitations are already in place may remain open to the public, but only between 09:00 and 18:00.