South Africa to remain on level one: Do’s and don’ts for the long weekend

South Africans can enjoy the long weekend with only slight adjustments, as the country remains on level one lockdown. Interprovincial travel remains permitted, and off-site alcohol sales will be banned for only four days. 

When he addressed the country on Tuesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa noted that many South Africans have made plans for the upcoming long weekend. “However, I urge all South Africans to limit their travel as much as possible and to observe all the necessary health protocols if they cannot avoid travelling,” the president said.

“While the rate of transmissions remains stable, we cannot let our guard down. This is a time when caution is needed more than ever,” Ramaphosa continued. “The reality is that a greater movement of people, interprovincial travel, greater use of public transit and gatherings present a great risk of an increase in infections.”

That said, the president announced less stringent restrictions for some sectors than unverified reports had suggested might be the case. 

“With the relatively low transmission levels, we have decided to keep the country on coronavirus alert level one. However, due to the specific circumstances of this period, we need to make a few adjustments,” Ramaphosa said. 


The major adjustments the president announced are the following: 

  • The sale of alcohol for off-site consumption will be prohibited from Friday 2 April to Monday 5 April; however, on-site alcohol sales at restaurants, shebeens and bars will be allowed until 11pm.
  • Religious gatherings are restricted to 250 people indoors and 500 outdoors. This is an increase from the previous numbers allowed, and will be in force for Easter, Passover and during Ramadan.
  • However, congregants are not allowed to gather outside their usual places of worship, and people must go home and not sleep over after services.

The following activities remain permitted: 

  • Interprovincial travel is allowed; 
  • The curfew remains, from midnight to 4am; 
  • Public recreational spaces such as beaches, parks, and dams remain open; and
  • Funerals remain limited to only 100 people, and are subject to a time frame of two hours. 

The measures put in place for religious gatherings will be reviewed “within the next 15 days based on an assessment on the state of the pandemic and the extent of compliance with health protocols”, Ramaphosa said.

In formulating the adjustments to the regulations for the long weekend, the government held consultations with experts, representatives of provincial and local governments, and traditional leaders about what measures should be put in place. 

South Africa has recorded just more than 1.5-million infections since March 2020, and the fatality rate is still climbing. As of the beginning of this week, 52 710 people in the country had died from Covid-19. 

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Eunice Stoltz
Eunice Stoltz is a junior daily news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She was previously a freelance journalist and a broadcaster at Maroela Media and Smile90.4FM.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

ANC’s rotten apples on the chopping block

Now that the NEC has finalised its step-aside guidelines for those facing corruption charges, a swathe of officials will struggle to cling to their positions

Sisulu and Dlodlo punted to be on their way out

Because President Cyril Ramaphosa won the step-aside order in the ANC’s national executive committee, a cabinet reshuffle looms, with Sisulu and Dlodlo’s names on comrades’ lips

More top stories

More ethnically diverse bone marrow donors needed to save lives

The myth that regenerative stem cells are body parts has led to donor reluctance

Khaya Sithole: The real weapons of mass destruction

Ratings agencies and derivatives caused the housing bubble, but where does the next financial crisis lurk?

Analysts expecting another attack ‘in the next few months’ in...

The extremist insurgency in Mozambique has been an ongoing threat since 2017. SADC needs to act now, say analysts

SIU probes how master of the high court fleeces the...

While the SIU delves into dozens of allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct against officials at the master of the high court, many families have been left destitute after the death of their loved ones.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…