Level 3: Children under six must wear masks, banks and wine farms get a pass
- President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an extended curfew, and restrictions on bottle stores, in an address on Tuesday night.
- But rules gazetted soon after contain more changes from Level 2.
- Adjusted Level 3 no longer has a mask exception for children under the age of six.
- Banks no longer have to provide sanitiser at ATMs.
- Wineries, micro-breweries, and distilleries are not included on the weekend alcohol sales ban.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Small children will have to wear masks when in public from Wednesday, under the Adjusted Level 3 regulations published by co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Tuesday night.
President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier announced changes in lockdown rules to ban alcohol sales over weekends and on Fridays, and to move the nightly curfew earlier by one hour.
But the published rules contain other changes, most notably the lack of a waiver for young children to wear masks.
That exclusion had been explicit under the Level 2 rules that came into effect at the end of May, which said that the "wearing of a face mask is mandatory for every person when in a public place, excluding a child under the age of six years".
The new regulation on face masks is identical – other than dropping the second part of that sentence – so that it now reads: "The wearing of a face mask is mandatory for every person when in a public place, and any person who fails to comply with a verbal instruction by an enforcement officer to wear a face mask, commits an offence and is, on conviction, liable to a fine or a period of imprisonment not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and imprisonment."
Dlamini-Zuma's spokesperson did not immediately respond when asked if the exclusion had been dropped in error, and whether the change will be enforced.
In September 2020, government guidelines for childcare centres held that children under two should not be made to wear face masks, but that those between two and five should be "encouraged" to do so.
When failure to adhere to law-enforcement orders to wear a mask became a criminal offence in later 2020, legal experts said kids and parents were unlikely to face arrest, but warned that shops may be required to deny access to those who failed to follow the rules strictly – including small children.
Another section that no longer appears in the new rules deals with ATMs. Previously, banks were required to ensure customers maintained social distance while queueing at their cash machines, and had to provide hand sanitiser at every ATM. That is no longer the case under Level 2.
As Ramaphosa announced, alcohol sales for off-premises consumption are restricted to Monday through Thursday only, and then only until 18:00.
But wineries, wine farms, micro-brewers, and micro-distillers are specifically excluded, and may "continue to operate in offering wine-tastings and other brew-tasting and the selling of wine and other brews to the public for offsite consumption", as long as they adhere to curfew and social-distancing requirements.
(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)
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