Level 2 latest: Here’s what changes to expect if govt eases lockdown laws

South Africa Source: Google Images

The shift from Level 3 to Level 2 of lockdown is potentially seismic, and with SA on the brink of easing lockdown, there are several big changes to note.

This is how you begin a month: It’s now reported that South Africa could soon move into Level 2 lockdown restrictions, after the second wave of COVID-19 officially peaked in January. With case numbers plummeting across the board, we understand that Cabinet is happy to ease the restraints of Level 3, allowing dramatic law changes to take place.

BLINK, AND YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS ALERT PHASE…

Instinctively, you’ve probably got good memories of Level 2: It brought us much more freedom than our previous lockdown alert phases, and returned a number of civil liberties to all South Africans. However, its implementation could certainly be described as ‘short but sweet’ – the restrictions were in place for just 33 days.

The highly-anticipated rules, which famously brought about an end to the cigarette ban, came into effect on 18 August. By 20 September, SA had strolled into Level 1 – where it would remain for more than three months. Indeed, we can all be forgiven for losing track of what exactly changed at Level 2 – but that’s what we are here for…

WHAT CHANGES AT LEVEL 2 OF LOCKDOWN?

With Level 2 apparently approaching over the horizon, we thought it’d be a corking idea to revisit what restrictions were in place last time. Granted, there’s no guarantee that this alert phase will be a carbon copy of what we saw in 2020 – but this should give us all a flavour of what’s to come, should Cabinet decide to lighten our lockdown laws:

  • Curfew was in place from 22:00 – 4:00.
  • Beaches were allowed to open.
  • At Level 2, pubs, bars and restaurants got the green-light to reopen. Nightclubs, however, had to stay closed.
  • Off-license alcohol sales were permitted from 9:00 to 17:00, from Mondays to Thursdays, excluding Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.
  • Face masks remained mandatory in public spaces.
  • Funeral gatherings could be attended by a maximum of 50 people.
  • The following places and events were allowed to operate: Religious institutions, funerals, workplaces, business meetings, cinemas, theatres, casinos, weddings, gyms, pools, museums, galleries, libraries, and all accommodation venues. 
  • Prison visits were allowed, but citizens did not have permission to see loved ones in residential care facilities.
  • The purchase of cigarettes, inter-provincial travel, and visits to hair and beauty businesses were given the seal of approval by Cabinet.
  • Free international travel, attending a professional sports event, and boarding a cruise ship were all outlawed at Level 2.
  • Here’s an interesting one: During our last spell at Level 2, the government allowed social events at a place of residence – subject to a limitation of 10 visitors or less. However, it’s not clear if this will be permitted again this time around.