Level 1 started at midnight – here’s what remains illegal

Business Insider SA
Lockdown level 1
  • South Africa moves to Alert Level 1 as of 00:01 on Monday.
  • That means fewer restrictions – but some things remain banned, or strictly illegal.
  • Moving around during curfew can get you six months in jail, and there's no sport spectating.
  • Here's what else you need to know about stuff that you still can't do during Level 1.
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There will be fewer restrictions on South Africans come 00:01 on Monday, or one minute after midnight on Sunday, when the country moves to Alert Level 1.

Only one industry, night clubs, remains entirely banned. The cigarette ban is long gone, booze will be available up to midnight in bars, and concerts are allowed again, even indoors.

But some things remain banned, and can come with jail time.

Here's what is still not allowed, or illegal, during Level 1 – including stuff that can land you jail time.

Moving around between midnight and 04:00

A curfew remains in place, from 00:01 to 04:00 every day. The only legal way to be on the streets during those hours is if you have a permit, or if you are “attending to a security or medical emergency”.

Breaking that rule can come with up to six months in prison.

Not wearing a mask 

In public there is only one exception to to the mask rule: while undertaking “vigorous” exercise.

And those in control of public places or public transport must still deny you access if you are not wearing a face mask.

Night vigils for the dead

Though funerals may now have up to 100 people in attendance (double the previous limit), there is still an absolute ban on night vigils.

Organising any gathering of more than 500 people – outside of a cinema complex, theatre, or casino

The absolute upper limit for gatherings is now 500 people, for outdoor religious services, conferences, concerts, or “political events”. As soon as those move indoors, the limit drops to 250 people.

Casinos do not have any such absolute limit, though; they must only limit people to 50% of the venue maximum. And after an amendment on Sunday afternoon, the same is now true for theatres and cinemas, which are now only limited to 50 percent of capacity per cinema or venue.

(The Level 1 regulations specifically make provision for the 50% rule for casinos to be further relaxed.)

Going to a sporting event as a spectator

While a casino can host as many people as its floorspace will allow, divided by two, spectators at sporting matches are specifically banned, even for outdoor events, even for fewer than 500 people, and no matter what social distancing or other measures are in place.

Going to a night club

Whether or not they stick to the curfew – or don’t sell alcohol – night clubs are still specifically banned.

Holding an initiation school

The ban on initiation practices is binding on organisers, prospective initiates, land owners, and traditional surgeons or medical practitioners – with the threat of six months in jail for any who fail to heed the ban.

Buying alcohol after 17:00, or on the weekend – except at a bar or restaurant

Bottle stores must close at 17:00 on weekdays, and are banned from selling booze on weekends and  public holidays.

But on-premises drinking spots may sell alcoholic drinks right up to the curfew, including on weekends.

* This article was corrected after publication to delete a reference to 50 people per cinema. The amended limit is, in fact, 50 percent per cinema.

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