JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's COVID-19 infections have been declining consistently during the past six weeks.
This is according to the Coronavirus Command Council led by Cooperative Governance Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
She's been expanding on lockdown regulations following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the country would be moving to Level 1 from midnight on Sunday.
But Dlamini-Zuma warned it’s not a licence to become reckless.
A total of 15,772 people have died and over 650,000 have been infected with the coronavirus.
Dlamini-Zuma provided the following details:
People will not be allowed outside their homes between 00:01-04:00. People who have been given permission by a cabinet member, have a permit or are attending to a security or medical emergency are exempted.
A person must wear a face mask in a public place and may not be allowed into a public building, place or premises without a face mask, nor use public transport without a mask.
A person undergoing vigorous exercise in a public place is exempted from this requirement.
Funerals are allowed 100 attendees or less, provided that not more than 50 percent of the venue's capacity is used and social distancing measures are followed.
At all gatherings, people must wear a face mask and adhere to social distancing measures.
An owner or operator of any indoor or outdoor facility where gatherings are held must display the certificate of occupancy which sets out the maximum number of persons the facility may hold.
Gatherings at faith-based institutions, social events, political events, conferences and traditional council meetings are limited to 250 persons or less in case of an indoor gathering and 500 persons or less in case of an outdoor gathering.
Gatherings at a workplace for work purposes are allowed.
Recreational gatherings including those at cinemas, theatres, concerts and live performances are allowed and limited to 250 people for an indoor gathering and 500 people for outdoor gatherings.
No more than 50 percent of an indoor venue's capacity may be used.
Gatherings at casinos, gyms, fitness centres and swimming pools are limited to not more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue, with persons observing a distance of least one and a half metres from each other.
Gatherings at sports grounds and fields and beaches and public parks are allowed, subject to regulations.
Restaurants must adhere to social distancing measures as issued by the relevant minister.
Bars, taverns, shebeens and similar establishments must limit guests to not more than 50 percent of the venue's capacity.
Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities, resorts and guest houses may not host more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue, with patrons observing a distance of least one and a half metres from each other.
Gatherings at auctions are allowed, subject to strict adherence to all health protocols, social distancing measures.
Sporting activities, including both professional and non-professional matches by recognised sporting bodies, are allowed.
Only the required number of players, match officials, support staff and medical crew required for the match.
No spectators are allowed at the venue of the sports match and no international sport events are allowed.
An enforcement officer must, where a gathering in contravention of the regulations takes place, order the persons at the gathering to disperse immediately; and if the persons refuse to disperse, take appropriate action, which may include the arrest and detention of any person at the gathering.
Although we have managed to control the virus through strict lockdown measures, the threat of a ‘second wave’ of infections remains. Vital precautionary measures must be maintained to prevent a new spike in COVID-19 cases. pic.twitter.com/Onk2bHZzqe— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) September 16, 2020
The easing of restrictions on alcohol sales under Level 1 must be done cautiously and responsibly to prevent harm to public health. pic.twitter.com/y2P1iDr863— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) September 16, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has also caused hardship for many South Africans and their businesses. Government has provided a range of social and economic relief measures to help those affected. pic.twitter.com/nfkZ0oMxWY— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) September 16, 2020
Evictions, demolitions and rental housing
A person may not be evicted from their land or home or have their place of residence demolished for the duration of the national state of disaster unless a competent court has granted an order authorising the eviction or demolition.
Rental Housing Tribunals must determine fair procedures for urgent hearing of disputes or may grant urgent orders.
During the national state of disaster, the following is presumed to be unfair practice:
- The termination of services in circumstances where the landlord has failed to provide reasonable notice and an opportunity to make representations
- The landlord has failed, reasonably and in good faith, to make the necessary arrangements including to reach an agreement regarding alternative payment arrangements, where applicable; or no provision has been made for the ongoing provision of basic services during the national state of disaster.
- The imposition of any penalty for the late payment of rental where the default is caused by the disaster, whether or not the penalty takes the form of an administrative charge or any other form other than interest.
- The failure of a landlord or tenant to engage reasonably and in good faith to make arrangements to cater for the exigencies of the disaster.
- Any other conduct prejudicing the ongoing occupancy of a place of residence, prejudicing the health of any person or prejudicing the ability of any person to comply with the applicable restrictions on movement that is unreasonable or oppressive having regard to the prevailing circumstances.
Partial reopening of borders
The 18 land borders which were partially operational will be fully operational, and the 35 land borders currently closed will remain closed.
Travelling to and from the country is allowed, subject to the following regulations.
From 1 October 2020, all travellers from the African continent and from countries outside the African continent with a low rate of COVID -19 infection and transmission, will resume but the traveller must provide:
- A valid certificate of a negative test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel
- In the event of the traveller's failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative test, the traveller will be required to quarantine at his or her own costs.
To temporarily control entry into the Republic from countries outside the African continent, the relevant Cabinet members shall, after consultation with the Cabinet member responsible for health, determine in directions - (a) criteria for controlling entry into the Republic, from such countries with a high COVID -19 infection and transmission rate.
The list of such countries with a high COVID -19 infection and transmission rate, which list may, from time to time, be amended.
International travel from countries listed as having a high COVID -19 infection and transmission rate, will remain prohibited except for business travel which may be allowed with the approval of the Minister of Home Affairs.
Daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend or teach at a school, and who are allowed entry into and exit from the country are subject to compliance with protocols relating to:
- Screening for COVID-19 and quarantine or isolation, where necessary
- The wearing of a face mask
- Sanitisation and social distancing measures
All commercial seaports will be opened.
International air travel is restricted to the following airports:
- OR Tambo International Airport
- King Shaka International Airport
- Cape Town International Airport.
Bus and taxi services may not carry more than 70 percent of the licensed capacity for long-distance (>200km) travel; and may carry 100 percent of the licensed capacity for any trip not regarded as long-distance travel.
A driver, owner or operator of public transport may not allow any member of the public who is not wearing a face mask, to board or be conveyed in a public transport owned or operated by him or her.
Sale and dispensing of liquor
The sale of liquor by a licensed premise for off-site consumption is allowed from 09h00 to 17h00, from Mondays to Fridays, excluding weekends and public holidays; and (b) by licensed premises for on-site consumption is permitted, subject to strict adherence to the curfew contemplated in regulation 66.
Offences and penalties
For the duration of the national state of disaster, any person who hinders, interferes with, or obstructs an enforcement officer in the exercise of his or her powers, or the performance of his or her duties in terms of the regulations, is liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months.