Read SA’s new lockdown rules – breaking them could mean a fine or jail time

The country’s beaches which remain open during the holiday season will only be open between 9am and 6pm, will be monitored for compliance with health protocols, and ‘loud music, live or otherwise, is prohibited’. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Chrisvanlennephoto

Amended lockdown regulations published on Tuesday make provision for people and businesses breaking the Covid-19 rules to be fined or spend up to six months in jail.

Co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma signed the amended regulations which are published in the Government Gazette.

The regulations provide more details on restrictions announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his address to the nation on Monday evening.

The regulations can be read in full here.

The regulations make provision for “a fine” or “imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

While beaches in the Eastern Cape and Garden Route will be closed for the holiday season, and on certain busy days in KwaZulu-Natal, the regulations state the beaches which remain open can only do so between 9am and 6pm, will be monitored for compliance with health protocols, and “any loud music, whether live or otherwise, is prohibited”.

“Non-compliance with the prohibitions, conditions, days of opening of beaches and wearing of face masks and social distancing measures will result in the closure of those non-complying beaches throughout the festive season.”

Businesses – including supermarkets, shops, grocery stores, retail stores, wholesale produce markets and pharmacies – must determine their area of floor space in square metres and, based on that, determine the number of customers and employees who may be inside the premises at any time, with adequate space available.

“Any business whose premises exceeds the maximum number of customers and employees commits an offence and is, on conviction, liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

The wearing of face masks in public is mandatory except for “a person who undertakes vigorous exercise in a public place, provided the person maintains a distance of at least 1.5m from any other person”.

Indoor gatherings for concerts, live performances, political events, conferences, cinemas, theatres, casinos and at sports grounds are limited to 100 people or fewer in the case of an indoor gathering and 250 people outdoors.

If the venue is too small to hold 100 people observing a distance of at least 1.5m from each other, then not more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.

Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities, resorts and guesthouses are also subjected to a restriction on the number of people allowed – not more than 50% of the available accommodation capacity.

District municipalities will have to alert residents if increasing Covid-19 infections could lead to the area being declared a hotspot. Areas with high infection rates within districts must be made known to the public.

While in-store alcohol sales have been restricted from Monday to Thursday, only “registered wineries and wine farms” may continue to offer wine tastings and sell liquor for off-site consumption from 10am to 6pm from Mondays to Saturdays.