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Beaches, bars and gyms are back: What you can and can’t do under level 2

The curfew stays, you’ll have to wear a mask to the gym and you can only order alcohol until 10pm. But you’ll be able to visit your family and hang out with your friends.

Resource details:

Publication title: Disaster Management Act regulations: Alert Level 2 during coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown
Author(s): The department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs
Publication date: 17 August 2020

What the regulations are about:

South Africa moved to level 2 of the nationwide lockdown on Tuesday 18 August. These regulations update the rules put in place as part of the country’s response to the new coronavirus outbreak. The new laws lift a number of restrictions previously imposed.

Key take-aways from the regulations:

Restrictions lifted under lockdown level 2

[3 September 2020 update: The department of sport, arts and culture amended regulations provided greater detail on gyms reopening.

  • People taking part in vigorous exercise should not wear face coverings, according to these regulations. However, a distance of metres must be maintained between individuals doing this form of exercise.
  • Gym equipment should be spaced out to allow for physical distancing. Low and medium intensity equipment should be no closer than 1.5 metres apart, while two metres should be left between high intensity gym equipment.
  • Gym facilities should encourage social distancing by marking out floors with the 1.5 metre or two metre spacings. Posters explaining the social distancing requirements should also be placed around the facility.

The amended regulations are available here.]

Restrictions still in place under lockdown level 2

Public transport

Other rules in the regulations

  • A six-hour curfew is in place between 22:00 to 04:00.
  • Initiation practices are not allowed during the national state of disaster. 
  • You still can’t visit the following places except if you have permission from the Cabinet member in charge: prisons, military detention facilities, holding cells, visits to retirement homes and medical facilities (unless receiving treatment).
  • People may not be evicted from their home or land under level 2 without a court order.
  • Your landlord can’t penalise you if you pay your rent late, if the reason you can’t pay is caused by the national state of disaster. Penalties for late rental payments caused by the national state of disaster are considered unfair practice.
  • Remote work is still encouraged where possible. Businesses with more than 100 employees should consider implementing shift systems to ensure everyone isn’t at work at the same time. 
  • Gatherings at churches and mosques are allowed but only 50 people can attend at a time.

You can find and download the regulations here.

[Please note: Information on the new coronavirus is rapidly changing. Please refer to the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs website for the latest information. Visit for updates on South Africa’s coronavirus response.]

Gopolang Makou was the impact and engagement officer at Bhekisisa.