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Level 3 lockdown: You can buy booze again, but there’s a catch. Read the latest regulations

On 1 June, South Africa will move to a level three COVID-19 lockdown. What does it mean for you? Read the regulations.

Resource details:

Publication title: Determination of alert levels / hotspots and amendment of regulations issued in terms of section 27(2)

Author(s): Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

Publication date: 28 May 2020

What the directives are about:

In March, South Africa instituted a national lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The country also created a system of risk alert levels based on the number of cases and health system capacity for the coronavirus. These five levels can be applied nationally, provincially or at a district level. On 1 June, South Africa will move to a risk alert level 3 lockdown. These regulations outline restrictions on, for instance, movement, evictions, attendance at gatherings as well as tobacco and alcohol sales during the level 3 lockdown. The document also stipulates the 10 metros and districts designated as hotspots for COVID-19 cases.

Key take-aways from the directives:

  • National COVID-19 hotspots are as follows:
    • Tshwane;
    • Johannesburg;
    • Ekurhuleni;
    • Ethekwini;
    • Nelson Mandela Bay;
    • Buffalo City;
    • Cape Town;
    • West Coast District Municipality, Western Cape;
    • Overberg District Municipality, Western Cape;
    • Cape Winelands District Municipality, Western Cape;
    • Chris Hani District Municipality, Eastern Cape;
    • iLembe District Municipality, in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Exercise can be done between 6am and 6pm provided it is not done in groups and social distancing is practised;
  • People must wear masks in public places;
  • Movement between provinces, metropolitan areas and districts is prohibited except for those carrying out work with valid permits or those moving house or caring for a family member provided they have an affidavit; 
  • Funerals remain limited to 50 people maximum and only select family members may be given permission for inter-provincial travel to attend funerals. Those wishing to travel to attend a funeral must register with the nearest police station or magistrate office;
  • Eviction orders may be granted during level three but, unless otherwise determined by the court, these orders must be suspended until the last day of the level three alert period;
  • All gatherings remain prohibited except for religious gatherings of 50 people or less. If congregations cannot accommodate 50 people while observing social distancing measures, they must reduce the size of the crowd in attendance for religious ceremonies;
  • Male and female initiation practices remain prohibited during the national state of disaster;
  • Locations such as theatres, bars, tourist attractions, casinos and restaurants remain closed; however restaurants may open for takeaway orders;
  • Alcohol may be sold for at-home consumption Monday through Thursday between 9am and 5pm;
  • The sale of tobacco products remains prohibited except for import.

You can find and download the directives here.

[Please note: Information on the new coronavirus is rapidly changing. Please refer to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition for the latest information. Visit for updates on South Africa’s coronavirus response.]

Laura Lopez Gonzalez is a freelance health journalist and editor. She was Bhekisisa's news editor then deputy editor between 2016 and 2020.