New advanced level 3 lockdown rules and changes to learners going back to school

New regulations have been published which relax restrictions on exercise, sit-down restaurants, entertainment venues, accommodation, and domestic air travel in South Africa.

Last week, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma released amended regulations related to the “advanced level 3” lockdown rules.

The amended regulations still only allow exercise between 06:00 and 18:00, but it can now be done in groups of up to four people.

Dlamini-Zuma indicated that many public areas must remain closed, including gyms and fitness centres, sports grounds and swimming pools, beaches, and public parks.

She also prohibited fêtes, bazaars, night clubs, bars, taverns, shebeens, and similar establishments from reopening.

Accommodation establishments which are not formally accredited and licensed, such as private homes for paid leisure accommodation (like Airbnb), must also remain closed.

On Monday, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane published rules for restaurants, conferences, casinos, and other entertainment venues to open.

Restaurants are required to conduct a screening questionnaire on all guests, patrons must wear masks and a distance of 1.5 metres must be kept between guests.

No self-service buffets are allowed, menus must be replaced with non-touch options and tables must be sanitised before and after each guest.

Casinos, in turn, can only use 50% of the gambling floor with at least 1.5 metres between patrons.

Today, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula published amended regulations related to domestic air travel which allow more airports to open.

Domestic passenger flights are now permitted in the following domestic airports:

  • Bram Fischer International Airport
  • Cape Town International Airport
  • King Shaka International Airport
  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
  • Lanseria International Airport
  • OR Tambo International Airport
  • Pietermaritzburg Airport
  • Port Elizabeth International Airport
  • Richardsbay Airport
  • Skukuza Airport
  • Upington International Airport

Changes to learners returning to schools

The Council of Education Ministers today released a statement which halted the return to school of some grades.

The council announced that only Grade 6, Grade 11, and Grade R learners will return to school on Monday 6 July. This decision affects all provinces.

It is a departure from the plan announced on 29 June to also allow Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3 and Grade 10 learners to return to school next week.

According to the statement, the other grades will be phased in during July in a “differentiated approach”.

“We will adjust the reopening phases based on the risk-adjusted strategy which is a considered attempt to balance our approach to school reopening,” Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said.

Motshekga is expected to hold a press briefing this weekend to provide further details on the department’s revised plans.

Gauteng may face stricter lockdown rules

The number of COVID-19 cases has rapidly increased in Gauteng over the past week, raising concerns that the healthcare system in the province may not be able to cope.

In a press briefing on Thursday, Gauteng premier David Makhura said this “COVID-19 storm” could make in necessary for the province to reintroduction stricter lockdown rules.

“We don’t want to do something for dramatic purposes without achieving results. But it is quite clear that we are going to have to do something extraordinary given where we are now,” said Makhura.

“This may mean asking the national command council to introduce some of the restrictions we had in the earlier phases of the lockdown”.

Makhura said Gauteng now has the largest number of active cases at more than 3,000 new cases daily. This means the pandemic is running “slightly ahead” of the projected models.

This could have implications for the peak of the virus, which may now arrive in August instead of September.

Makhura said the Gauteng government will continue to push for behavioural change at a ward level, but this may not be enough.

“We are also making presentations to the National Coronavirus Command Council [NCCC] at reinstating some of the harsher and more stringent lockdown measures,” he said.

“We think there may be a case for harder localized lockdown in areas where the infection rate is getting out of hand and people are not observing the measure being put in place.”

He said issues which will be discussed include the sale of alcohol, the return of more school students and the reopening of churches and other sectors.

Consultations on these issues will be held on Saturday, while the final decision will have to be made at the national level by the NCCC.

Advanced level 3 lockdown rules

The table below provides an overview of the new advanced level 3 lockdown rules and the revised school re-opening plan.

Movement of people
When you can leave your house Perform any service allowed under level 3.
Travel to and from work.
Buy goods or obtain services.
Move children.
Exercise between 06:00 and 18:00.
Attend a place of worship.
Attend a school or learning institution.
Travel for leisure purposes allowed under level 3.
Movement of persons between provinces Prohibited, except for:
Business travel.
Moving to a new place of residence.
Caring for a family member.
Attending a funeral.
Students travelling to schools or an institution of learning.
Obtaining medical treatment.
Returning to a place of resident.
Transportation of mortal remains.
Evictions Prohibited, unless a court grant an order for the eviction
Funerals Allowed, but limited to 50 people.
Religious gatherings Allowed, but limited to 50 people.
Conferences for business purposes Allowed, but limited to 50 people.
Meetings for business purposes Allowed, but limited to 50 people.
General public gatherings Prohibited.
Sports events where people attend Prohibited.
Entertainment venues
Cinemas Allowed, but limited to 50 people.
Theatres Allowed, but limited to 50 people and 15 performers and crew.
Casinos Allowed, but not more than 50% of the available floor space.
Entertainment venues
Museums Allowed.
Galleries Allowed.
Libraries Allowed.
Jogging and walking Allowed in groups of up to 4 people.
Cycling Allowed in groups of up to 4 people.
Non-contact sports matches Allowed, but no spectators allowed.
Contact sports Allowed for training only.
Delivery Allowed.
Collection Allowed.
Sit-down Allowed.
Consumption of alcohol in restaurant Prohibited.
Premises closed to the public
Bars, taverns, and shebeens Prohibited.
Night clubs Prohibited.
Gyms and fitness centres Prohibited.
Sports grounds and fields Prohibited.
Swimming pools Prohibited.
Beaches and public parks Prohibited.
Fetes and bazaars Prohibited.
Personal care services
Hairdressing Allowed.
Beauty treatments Allowed.
Make-up and nails salons Allowed.
Piercing and tattoo parlours Allowed.
Air travel
Domestic air travel for business Allowed.
Domestic air travel for leisure Prohibited.
International air travel for business Prohibited.
International air travel for leisure Prohibited.
Airports which can operate O.R. Tambo International.
Cape Town International.
King Shaka International.
Bram Fischer in Bloemfontein.
Kruger Mpumalanga Airport.
Pietermaritzburg Airport.
Port Elizabeth Airport.
Richard’s Bay Airport.
Skukuza Airport.
Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts
Hotels Allowed.
Lodges Allowed.
Licensed B&B Allowed.
Home sharing, like Airbnb Prohibited.
Parks and tourist attractions
SANParks and game reserves Allowed for self-drive excursions.
Tourist destinations Allowed for self-drive excursions.
Wholesale and retail trade
Wholesale and retail trade Allowed.
All ecommerce activities Allowed.
Liquor sales Monday to Thursday, from 09:00 until 17:00.
Cigarette sales Prohibited.
E-cigarette sales Prohibited.
Other tobacco products Prohibited.
Curfew on the movement of people No curfew.
Return under level 3 33% of the student population will be allowed to return to campuses, which include:
All groups that have already returned.
Students in the final year of their programmes.
Students in all years of study that require clinical training.
Post Graduate students who require laboratory equipment and other technical equipment.
Grade 7, 12 1 June 2020.
Grade R, 6 and 11 6 July 2020.
Grade 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 To be announced later.
Schools Terms
Term 1 15 January – 18 March.
Term 2 8 June – 7 August.
Term 3 12 August – 23 September.
Term 4 5 October – 15 December.

Now read: South Africa may implement localised lockdown due to surge in COVID-19 cases

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