As South Africa entered the festive season, we also saw an alarming increase in the rate of COVID-19 infections and deaths. This was further exacerbated by the appearance of a new, more infectious, strain of the virus. With calls from doctors and others on social media to urgently address the rise in cases, President Cyril Ramaphosa once again called a family meeting on 28 December 2020, during which he announced that South Africa will move to lockdown level 3 with immediate effect – and additional restrictions.
What does the adjusted level 3 lockdown mean?
- All indoor and outdoor gatherings, except for funerals, are prohibited. Only 50 people may attend a funeral, with social distancing requirements in place.
- Masks must be worn at all times in public spaces and social distancing must be maintained. If you do not wear a mask, you may be prosecuted and imprisoned for up to six months and/or have to pay a fine.
- The curfew time will now be from 9pm until 6am. Restaurants and other establishments must close at 8pm.
- No alcohol sales will be allowed and the on-site consumption of alcohol is banned. This means restaurants and bars will no longer be able to serve alcohol.
- Night clubs and businesses whose primary purpose is to sell or transport alcohol may not operate at all.
- All beaches are closed.
In addition, most major cities in South Africa are now listed as COVID-19 hotspots:
- Eastern Cape: Chris Hani District, Buffalo City, Alfred Nzo District, Amathole District and OR Tambo District
- KZN: eThekwini, Ugu, Harry Gwala, iLembe, King Cetshwayo District and uMgungundlovu
- Gauteng: West Rand, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg
- Western Cape: West Coast, Overberg, the Cape Winelands, Cape Town,and the Central Karoo
- Limpopo: The Waterberg District and the Capricorn District
These restrictions will be in place until 15 January 2021.