After months of strict regulations on personal movement, South Africans are finally braced for a bit of leeway next week. The government has confirmed the places where citizens will be allowed to ‘gather’ during Level 3, without breaching the rules and regulations associated with lockdown.
THE ONLY PLACES PEOPLE CAN ‘GATHER’ DURING LEVEL 3
It was Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s turn to address the nation, following on from President Ramaphosa’s speech on Sunday. There was little in the way of drama during this transitional briefing, and NDZ stayed on script with a series of announcements. There have been a few relaxations to the rules on public gatherings, and the minister has explained where – and how – people can assemble in groups:
- Council meetings and gatherings can resume with strict social distancing in local government buildings.
- The government are still allowing funeral gatherings – but will continue to limit the number of attendees to 50.
- Schools can allow children to return to their classrooms, providing a 1.5-metre distance is kept between all parties.
- Religious gatherings of 50 people or less are permitted if the chosen venue can accommodate social distancing.
- Workplace gatherings for professional purposes will be permitted under strict conditions and the observance of health and hygiene guidelines.
- But, be warned: None of these allowances allow people to gather elsewhere, or meet socially in public.
THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES ARE STILL BANNED
- You still cannot meet friends or family from outside of your own household.
- Public training, fitness and recreation facilities remain closed except those conducting non-contact sports matches, without spectators. The Minister of Arts, Culture and Sports will elaborate on this.
- Exercising in groups is not allowed, either.
- People are asked to wear face masks wherever they go in public, including all listed gatherings.
DLAMINI-ZUMA CONFIRMS GATHERING RULES FOR LEVEL 3 OF LOCKDOWN
And, to compound the point that these permitted gatherings are not tantamount to a lifted lockdown, Dlamini-Zuma confirmed a list of venues that will remain shut during Level 3:
“In minimising the chances of infection, on-site consumption places for food, entertainment and recreation will remain closed. These include places such as restaurants, shebeens, taverns, night clubs, bars, cinemas, theatres, fêtes, bazaars; casinos; and similar places.”
“As will hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities and resorts and guest houses, remain closed, except those that are accommodating remaining and confined tourists, persons lodging as a result of work purposes; and persons in quarantine or isolation. The various ministers will elaborate on these aspects.”