Lockdown blues: here's what is still not allowed on level 1
On Monday SA woke up to the last level of its lockdown.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last week that the country would move to level 1 from midnight on Sunday.
Under level 1, all sectors will be allowed to trade and the curfew is between midnight and 4am daily.
According to co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the curfew is to prevent drinking chaos and to stop people sitting in public spaces for hours on end.
Sales of alcohol have been extended by an extra day and are now permitted from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Indoor gatherings are allowed to accommodate up to 250 people, while outdoor events are capped at 500.
Religious gatherings at mosques, churches, and temples are allowed to accommodate up to 50% capacity. Gyms and theatres are also allowed up to 50% of venue capacity.
Restrictions on international travel for business, leisure and other travel will be lifted from October 1.
Travellers will be allowed to travel into and out of SA from countries considered to be at lower risk for Covid-19 infections. A list of countries deemed high-risk will be made available in the next few days after the government finalises its decision.
LISTEN | Cele sets a target on GBV in SA’s hotspots
Senior government sources told Sunday Times at the weekend there were serious discussions about which countries to place on the high-risk list amid concerns that excluding SA's closest trading partners could lead to “diplomatic issues”.
According to the report, discussions have centred on the country’s Brics partners — Brazil, Russia, India and China — and whether their citizens should gain access as a bloc. Senior officials have raised concerns about including Brazil and India because they have the second and third-highest global infection rates.
Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said SA was using World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines to determine which countries to allow in when international travel resumes.
This includes factors such as transmission patterns, national public health and social measures for controlling outbreaks in both departure and destination countries, and public health capacity.
Countries considered to be high-risk will be reviewed every two weeks. If a banned country’s infection rate declines, it will be moved off the list, said Kubayi-Ngubane.
What is still not allowed or illegal under lockdown level 1
According to the Government Gazette, the following areas remain closed and/or are specifically excluded under level 1 lockdown:
- Night vigils;
- Not wearing face masks in public;
- Night clubs;
- The 35 land borders that remain closed;
- Male and female initiation practices;
- Passenger ships for international leisure purposes;
- Attendance of any sporting event by spectators;
- International sports events;
- Exclusions relating to certain public transport services;
- Exclusions relating to certain education services.
The latest Government Gazette can be accessed here.
With alert level 1 under way, South Africa has endured trials and tribulations since the beginning of the national lockdown. TimesLIVE sat down with vaccinology and infectious disease expert Prof Shabir Madhi from Wits University, who shed some light on what could be next for the country, and a few lessons learnt along the way. He gives an update on the vaccine trial and considers the possibilities of a second wave of infection, warning that the country is not yet out of the woods.