New level 3 lockdown rules for South Africa – What you can and cannot do

Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published a government gazette detailing the new restrictions implemented under adjusted level 3 lockdown.

These new restrictions are effective from Tuesday 2 February and follow an announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 1 February that certain lockdown rules will be relaxed due to the decline in daily recorded COVID-19 cases in South Africa.

“We have recorded our lowest daily increase in infections since the beginning of December last year,” Ramaphosa said.

“The average rate of new infections has been steadily coming down over the past few weeks, indicating that we have now passed the peak of the second wave.


The national ban on alcohol has been lifted under certain conditions for on- and off-site consumption and Ramaphosa urged South Africans to drink responsibly so as not to place undue strain on the national healthcare system.

The changes to South Africa’s lockdown restrictions effective from today are summarised below.

The hours of the national curfew have changed to between 23:00 and 04:00.

During this period, every person is confined to their place of residence unless they are performing an essential service or have an emergency.

Those who have arrived on a late flight and must travel from the airport during the hours of curfew will be allowed to do so.

Closing time for the following establishments, whether indoors or outdoors, is 22:00:

Museums, galleries and archives
Public swimming pools
Beaches and public parks
Game parks, botanical gardens, aquariums, and zoos
Establishments offering wine- and brew-tastings
Gyms and fitness centres
Venues hosting auctions
Venues hosting professional sport
Gatherings and public spaces
An owner or operator of any indoor or outdoor facility where gatherings are held must display the certificate of occupancy which sets out the maximum number of persons the facility may hold.

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Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Social gatherings remain prohibited. However, the following is now allowed under the regulations, provided they comply with COVID-19 health protocols:

Faith-based gatherings of 50 persons or less for indoor venues and 100 persons or less for outdoor venues.
All beaches, dams, lakes and rivers, inclusive of all recreational facilities at these places are open to the public.
All public swimming pools, including recreational facilities at such places, are open to the public with a limitation of 50 persons or less for indoor venues and 100 persons or less for outdoor venues.
Night clubs remain closed to the public.

International travel
There are a number of changes to international travel in the new regulations, summarised as follows:


International air travel is restricted to OR Tambo, King Shaka, and Cape Town International Airports;
Long -haul flight departures and landings at the airports are permitted during the hours of curfew;
All international travellers arriving in South Africa must provide a valid certificate of a negative COVID -19 test, recognised by the World Health Organisation, which was obtained not more than
72 hours before the date of travel;
In the event of the traveller’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative COVID -19 test, the traveller will be required to do an antigen test on arrival at his or her own cost and in the event of a traveller testing positive for COVID -19, he or she will be required to isolate him or herself at his or her own cost, for a period of 10 days.
Sale of liquor
The sale of alcohol products is now permitted for on- and off-site consumption, subject to the following restrictions:

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The sale of liquor by licensed premises for off-site consumption is permitted from 10:00 to 18:00, from Mondays to Thursdays, excluding Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.
Duty-free shops, wineries, wine farms, and micro-breweries are exempt from these provisions.
The sale of liquor by licensed premises for on-site consumption is permitted, from 10:00 to 22:00.
The consumption of liquor in public places. except in licensed on-site consumption premises, is prohibited.
The transportation of liquor is now permitted.
Returning to work
The regulations state that all South Africans who are able to work from home must do so.

However, South Africans will be permitted to travel to and from work subject to the following:

Strict compliance with health protocols and social distancing measures;
The return to work being phased in to put in place measures to make the workplace COVID -19 ready;
The return to work being done in a manner that avoids and reduces risks of infection; and
The work not being listed under the specific economic exclusions.

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