With the ‘second wave’ of infections experienced across South Africa and infection rates peaking, President Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would return to Level 3 from the 29th of December 2020 until the 15th of January 2021.
Chapter 4 of the Disaster Management Act of 2002 has been amended to adjust regulations from Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 3. There has however been an adjustment to level 3 regulations. These include the following:
Restriction of movement of individuals
Curfew has been implemented to confine individuals to their homes between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am daily. This will require establishments to close at 8 pm daily in order to allow patrons and staff alike to comply with the curfew. Should curfew not be adhered to this may result in fines or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or both.
Establishments required to close at 8 pm include cinemas, theatres, casinos, museums, galleries, archives, gyms and fitness centres; restaurants; venues hosting auctions and professional sporting venues.
One is allowed to move around during curfew hours where the person has been given permission by Cabinet; where there is a medical or security emergency or where an individual possesses a valid permit, which complies with the form as provided for in the regulations.
Though general Health and safety protocols have remained largely the same, individuals will now be held personally liable for failing/refusing to wear a face mask in public. Individuals may be liable for fines or imprisonment of no more than 6 months.
Though businesses can operate, subject to any sector-specific health protocols as well as general health and safety measures being in place, certain businesses and/or activities are specifically excluded from operating until regulations are adjusted. These include:
- After funeral gatherings including “after-tears’’ gatherings
- Social gatherings
- Night clubs, bars, taverns, shebeens and similar establishments
- Sale, dispensing, distribution and transportation of liquor and the consumption of liquor in public places. save for transportation as allowed in regulations 44 and 86.
- Beaches, dams, rivers, lakes, in areas declared as hotspots.
- Public parks including public and recreational facilities.
- Public swimming pools, except as provided for in regulation 39(1)(b).
- Land borders that remain closed.
- Initiation practices and post-initiation practices (imigidi) except as specifically allowed in regulations 40 and 85.
- Passenger ships for international leisure purposes, excluding small crafts, in line with health and border law enforcement protocols.
- Attendance of any sporting event by spectators.
- Exclusions relating to public transport services as set out in the directions issued by the Cabinet member responsible for transport.
As a result of the amended regulations, Temporary Employment Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits are still available to eligible employees and businesses who are unable to operate at full capacity, if at all, as a result of the regulations, until the Level 3 Regulations are adjusted.
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