People socialise inside a restaurant. (Pixabay)
  • South Africa’s adjusted level 4 lockdown has been extended from 11 July until 25 July.
  • Gyms, fitness centers and larger restaurants can open. Smaller restaurants can now operate at 50% capacity. Agricultural activities such as livestock auctions may continue.
  • All gatherings, including private functions in or around your home – are prohibited for the next fortnight. The sale of alcohol remains banned.

South Africa will remain in an adjusted level 4 lockdown for 14 more days from 11 July until 25 July. President Cyril Ramaphosa moved first announced the country would be moved to this type of lockdown for two weeks on 28 June in a bid to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections.

South Africa’s third wave is being driven by the Delta variant of the virus, which was first identified in India. It’s the most transmissible of the SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating worldwide, which spreads from person to person faster than other variants. Read more about the variant here. 

The restrictions will be re-evaluated in two weeks time, Ramaphosa explained on Sunday. For now, here’s how to stay within the law. 

What time should you be home?

Stay home between 21:00 and 04:00, the updated gazetted regulations say. If you don’t adhere to the curfew you can be fined or face six months’ jail time. 

This doesn’t apply if you’re seeking emergency medical attention, or if you have a boarding pass to prove you were on a flight which forced you to be on the road after curfew.

READ MORE: Understanding the 3 COVID variants circulating during SA’s third wave

What’s the deal with Gauteng? 

Leisure travel to and from Gauteng is illegal for the next two weeks.  People can travel to Gauteng for work if they have a letter from their employer.

Gauteng residents have a once-off chance to return home if they were elsewhere when the regulations came into effect. 

WATCH: How to vax a nation – A dummy’s guide to getting a COVID jab

Mourners can travel to and from funerals held in Gauteng granted they have a letter from a magistrate’s office or police station. Those transporting human remains are allowed to move through the province as are learners who commute to a school or tertiary institution in a different province daily.

You can move around the Gauteng province if you’re moving house or if you have an affidavit to prove that you’re travelling to take care of an immediate family member.

You can transit through Gauteng if you’ve got an affidavit.

What exactly counts as a ‘gathering’?

South Africa’s definition of a gathering under the Disaster Management Act includes people coming together on roads or inside buildings whether they are partly or completely in the open air. The only exception is a workplace and a residential home (but it’s only legal for the usual residents to be there). So, you can’t host any dinner parties at your home. 

Here’s a list of places where gatherings are prohibited until 25 July.

  • Cell group meetings 
  • Church services
  • Traditional council meetings 
  • Meetings at political events 
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Casinos
  • Museums
  • Night clubs 
  • Flea markets and bazaars
  • Galleries 
  • Archives 
  • Libraries 
  • Auctions
  • Conferences 
  • Exhibitions 
  • Beaches
  • Parks 
  • Dams
  • Sports matches (unless you’re a journalist, television crew member or emergency medical services personnel)
  • Taverns & shebeens
  • Residential facilities for the elderly

Organisers and attendants of gatherings at the places listed above can be fined or jailed. 

READ MORE: Hindsight is 2020: Three lessons from our second wave

The only exceptions are funerals, when you’re at work, or when you’re shopping for goods and services. 

You can go to the following places: 

  • Hotels
  • Lodges
  • Bed & breakfasts 
  • Timeshare facilities 
  • Resorts 
  • Guest houses
  • Gyms and fitness centres can only allow 50 people at a time, or half of its capacity.
  • Restaurants may operate at 50% capacity. Larger in-house dining facilities are limited to 50 people.

Buffets and dining rooms at these venues, however, are a no-go, and food and non-alcoholic beverages can only be delivered to guests’ rooms. 

Hotels and B&B’s can fill up their available rooms as long as guests continue to social distance, according to an amendment to the regulations published on Tuesday 29 June.

These premises must close by 8pm so that employees can get home before curfew. 

Schools, universities, colleges and technical schools remain closed until 25 July.

What do funerals look like during adjusted level 4? 

Only 50 people may attend funerals and everyone must wear a face mask for the duration of the event. 

If the funeral venue is too small for 50 people to stand 1.5 metres apart, the rule of thumb should be half the venue’s capacity. 

Night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and “after tears” gatherings are prohibited.

Can you eat at a restaurant and will there be alcohol? 

Yes – and no. 

You can now eat at a restaurant, but no alcohol will be available.

All alcohol sales are illegal until 25 July.

It’s illegal to transport alcohol unless it’s for export, safekeeping, or when the alcohol is being used to produce hand sanitisers and disinfectants, soap and household cleaning products. 

[Update 2021/06/30 12:47 This resource was updated to reflect amendments to the adjusted level 4 lockdown regulations, which were published on Tuesday 29 June.]

[Update 2021/06/30 12:47 This resource was updated to reflect amendments to the adjusted level 4 lockdown regulations, which were published on Tuesday 11 July.]

+ posts

Joan van Dyk is a senior health journalist at Bhekisisa.