COVID-19 State of Disaster & Other Developments: Update (21 September 2020)
LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1
Disaster management regulations
- Gazetted on 18 September, the new regulations:
- came into force at 00:01 on 21 September.
- They limit the number of people allowed to gather:
- at large indoor venues (to 250)
- at open-air venues (to 500)
- at funerals (to 100, with night vigils prohibited).
- The venue limitations apply to:
- gatherings at ‘faith-based institutions’
- ‘political events’
- traditional council meetings
- gatherings at places of employment
- conference and other meeting venues, and
- concerts and live performances.
- Unless stated otherwise, all other venues are restricted to using no more than 50% of their capacity, including cinemas and theatres (regarding which an amendment was gazetted on 20 September).
- Ministerial directives will be issued on the number of people permitted to gather at:
- sports grounds and fields
- beaches and public parks
- museums, galleries, libraries and archives
- gyms, fitness centres and swimming pools
- hotels, lodges, bed-and-breakfasts, timeshare facilities, resorts, guest houses, restaurants, bars, taverns, shebeens and ‘similar establishments’, and
- Regarding international travel:
- it will remain prohibited between South Africa and countries with high Covid-19 infection and transmission rates, except for business purposes as approved by the Minister of Home Affairs
- the Ministers of Health and Home Affairs will:
- determine the criteria to be met by anyone entering SA from a high-risk country outside the African continent, and
- compile a list of all high-risk countries, to be ‘amended from time to time’
- the 35 land border posts closed when the State of Disaster was announced will not be re-opened, according to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
- ‘all commercial seaports will be opened’, but existing restrictions on visits from international cruise ships will remain in place
- only OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town international airports will open for international air travel
- a ministerial directive will determine the conditions to be met and procedures followed when visa application services resume, and
- in consultation with the Ministers of Health and Transport, the Minister of Home Affairs will also develop international travel Covid-19 ‘containment protocols’.
- The new regulations are much the same as those for lockdown level two regarding:
- the demolition of places of residence
- rental housing
- re-opening businesses
- nightclubs (which will remain closed)
- initiation practices (which will remain prohibited)
- public transport, and
- controlled visits to various facilities.
- Curfew hours have been reduced (00:01 to 04:00).
- Liquor may be sold at retail outlets between 09:00 and 17:00 from Monday to Friday (but not during weekends and public holidays).
- On-site alcohol consumption is permitted at licensed premises, which must observe the curfew.
- On 15 September, amendments were gazetted to ministerial directives spelling out:
- the support to be provided to special needs learners continuing their education at home, and
- the physical distancing requirements to be met at boarding hostels.
- A ministerial directive gazetted on 15 September announced the reopening of Sishen and Polokwane airports for domestic passenger flights.
- On the same day, a separate directive confirmed that game drive vehicles are permitted to carry the full number of people for which they are licensed.
DEVELOPMENTS UNRELATED TO THE COVID-19 STATE OF DISASTER
- Stricter greenhouse gas emissions reporting requirements were gazetted on 11 September, when they came into force.
- South Africa’s 7th national greenhouse gas emissions inventory report has been released in draft form for comment.
Prepared by Pam Saxby
About this blog
"That week in Parliament" is a series of blog posts in which the important Parliamentary events of the week are discussed.