Going out under Lockdown Level 2
South Africa’s move into level 2 of the national lockdown is a much less restrictive phase of the now five-month-long quarantine after five months of de-escalating from a full-on national closure of industry and most public spaces to more lenient restrictions, with the understanding of strict social distancing and the wearing of masks.
It’s been quite some time since South Africans have been out socialising, and now that it is allowed, there are still a few rules that need to be adhered to. It is very exciting that most industries have reopened. The beauty industry, restaurants and even hospitality and tourism are starting back up again, and people are allowed to go and socialise.
Yes, the opinions of what should and shouldn’t be allowed differ, but loads of people have communicated their excitement to get out and about again. (Both for some down-time and for mental health purposes – isolation can certainly become maddening.)
Some of the changes announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa include the opening of beaches and gyms.
Family visits are now also possible, though the government says this must be in small numbers.
Travel between provinces is permitted for leisure.
Accommodation and hospitality venues will be permitted to trade according to approved protocols to ensure social distancing.
Yes, you can now not only order your favourite takeout for delivery or pick-up, but you can sit down at your favourite restaurant too! The rules remain the same for restaurants under level 2 lockdown as level three, except for the reintroduction of alcohol sales for on-site consumption before 10 pm.
ENCA reports that Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has issued a stern warning to restaurants stating that business licences are at risk if the restaurants don’t comply with the curfew and other rules.
Watrons are obliged to wear masks at all times. Patrons can be unmasked at the table, but masked in every other communal space in the restaurant.
Cutlery and crockery are steam cleaned, and every few metres there should be a sanitation station for both staff and patrons.
Most notably, the sale of alcohol and tobacco products is no longer prohibited. There are still strict timelines in place about when sales are allowed and on which days, but taverns and restaurants with the proper permits and licensing will be able to serve alcohol until 10 pm on most weekdays.
Driving around in level 2
Because movement for social gatherings is less restricted, there is now more traffic on the roads. Cars spotted during curfew hours will be stopped, and you will need to show your permit that allows you to be on the road after 10. As it stands, the only people with permits are those who work night shift.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has published a new directive, which amends the current regulations. There have been changes to private vehicle capacity; now permitted to carry their maximum licensed passenger capacity.
The directive also confirms that all tourist transport services are permitted and that all public transport’s operating licences and accreditation certificates, which expired from 26 March 2020 up to and including 31 August 2020, are deemed valid until 28 February 2021.
Taking public transport
Minibus, midibus or minibus taxi-type services can only operate at 70% of their maximum licensed passenger-carrying capacity. This is for both long distance, intra-provincial as well as interprovincial travelling.
Bus services can also only fill 70% of their licensed passenger-carrying capacity for long-distance intra-provincial and interprovincial travelling.
Business Tech continues that Bus, minibus, midibus, minibus taxi-type services, e-hailing services, metered taxis, shuttle services, chauffeur-driven vehicles and scholar transport vehicles are permitted to carry 100% of their maximum licensed passenger capacity for short-distance travelling.
Should you wear a mask in transit?
In your own car, you do not have to wear a mask if you are alone. If you are travelling with people who live in your home, you also do not need to wear a mask. Passengers in private vehicles are advised to wear masks, especially those carpooling with colleagues.
Public transport users are to wear masks at all times.
What fines can you get on the road?
– Fines for travelling during the curfew. Curfew starts at 10 pm and ends at 4 am.
– Failure of public transport operators to observe maximum load capacities.
Level 2 Regulations that remain the same
Even though the ban on most activities and industries has been lifted, wearing a mask is still compulsory in public and most communal spaces. With this, restrictions on family and social visits will also be lifted, although everyone is urged to exercise extreme caution and undertake such visits only if necessary.
The infection rate is dropping daily by the thousands, but in order to avoid a resurgence everyone is urged to continue the hygiene practices used in level 5.
The curfew remains in place between 10 pm and 4 am daily. Wearing a mask remains compulsory.
It is very important to remind yourself and your loved ones that even though level 2 has relaxed parameters, COVID-19 is far from being over.
No matter where you are, or what level it is; if you need any sort of emergency assistance, the free iER app has your back.
The iER app is a free emergency application that can be downloaded on any smart device. It gives the user peace of mind by offering a no-cost solution for emergencies. The App is a panic button that can be used in a variety of situations to ensure that the proper response team is sent to the scene of an emergency or crime. It is a one-click solution available to everyone.
There is no membership fee payable in order to make use of the iER application, although data or a Wi-Fi connection is required for use. Anyone who has the App, which can be downloaded from all app stores, can make use of the emergency response facilities. This is because the App was designed to be accessible.
The FREE iER App is the gateway to emergency response services, including a national network of private, semi-private and government emergency medical and non-medical response services.