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New rules for cinemas, theatres and sports under level 1: Four things you need to know

12 October 2020 - 13:19 By unathi nkanjeni
New rules have been implemented for the opening of cinemas, theatres and sporting events under level 1 lockdown.
New rules have been implemented for the opening of cinemas, theatres and sporting events under level 1 lockdown.
Image: 123RF/serhiibobyk

New rules have been implemented for the opening of cinemas, theatres and sporting events under level 1 of the lockdown. 

The rules were announced over the weekend in a statement from the ministry of sport, arts and culture's chief director marketing and communications (sport), Mickey Modisane. 

This comes after sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa last week published a gazette on gatherings related to sport, arts and cultural activities. 

Here is what you need to know:


Sports activities, including both professional and non-professional matches by recognised sporting bodies, are allowed to resume activities with no spectators at the venue or in the precinct of the venue. 

Every participant must be subjected to testing for professional sport, and screening for non-professional sport. There is no need to submit an application for consideration and approval by the minister.

The sporting body must ensure that all measures are in place before any resumption of sporting activities.

"International sporting, arts and cultural events involving countries with low or medium Covid–19 infection transmission rates are allowed, subject to the list provided in terms of the directions from home affairs," said Modisane. 

"International sporting events are allowed without spectators, subject to compliance with measures as outlined in the directions and other legislation."

International sporting, arts and cultural events involving countries with high Covid-19 infection rates are not allowed.

Rules for sport bodies

Sport bodies must ensure every person in the travelling team provides a negative Covid-19 test result that has been obtained no more than 72 hours before the date of travel.

If a person in the travelling team is unable to produce a negative Covid-19 test result, that person must be quarantined at his or her own cost.

"A sport body must comply with the provisions of the National Sport and Recreation Act, the bidding and hosting of international sporting and recreational events regulations and the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act, and compliance with all relevant legislation and municipal by-laws," he said. 

Cinemas and theatres

Cinemas and theatres are allowed to operate but are limited to 50% of the venue's capacity. 

Fitness centres and swimming pools are also allowed to operate, but are limited to 50% of capacity per venue and are subject to compliance, including, among others, wearing a mask or cloth to cover the mouth and face, adherence to social distancing and screening.

Concerts and live performances are limited to 250 persons or less in the case of an indoor gathering, and 500 persons or less in the case of an outdoor gathering.

"Provided that no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue is used, with persons observing a distance of least 1.5m from each other and subject to compliance with provisions of these directions and other legislation," said Modisane.


Places and premises such as sports grounds, fields, beaches, public parks, museums, galleries, libraries and archives are subjected to strict compliance with health protocols and social distancing. 

"The venues must be cleaned and everyone entering such venues is subject to screening. Everyone must wear a mask or cloth that covers the mouth and nose at all times. Hands must be washed every time and the venue must be sanitised," said Modisane. 

"A compliance officer must be appointed to make sure all people entering the venue sign the attendance register, and all people entering the venues must be screened for their temperature, noting that participants, including match officials at non-professional sport events, must be screened before the resumption of such activities."

The department will deploy officials to monitor compliance with the directions and officials will be given a "special identity document".