Booze is illegal again, but parks can open: What we know about the new Level 3

Business Insider SA
President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address to the nation on 12 July. (Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

  • Booze sales are immediately illegal again, though parks will be opening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday.
  • All auctions will be allowed, but not family visits.
  • Also, taxis will have to open some windows.
  • For more stories go to

South Africa will not be moving back to Alert Level 4 or 5, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday night – but a curfew will be imposed, alcohol sales will be banned, and new mask rules will be imposed.

On the other side of the coin, all auctions will now be allowed and parks will be reopened.

"The storm is upon us," Ramaphosa said, even while "many are downplaying the seriousness of this virus", and failing to adhere to the rules intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The government, he said, would secure more beds, oxygen, and ventilators, but it is "not only the health system that needs to be strengthened" – and the cabinet had agreed to "strengthen the enforcement of existing regulations and take certain additional measures". 

Here is what we know about the newly revised rules for Alert Level 3, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday.

Alcohol sales are "immediately" banned – though it is not clear on what legal basis

Ramaphosa said that the "sale, dispensing, and distribution of alcohol will be suspended with immediate effect" as one of the measures intended to "conserve hospital capacity".

However, as no new regulations were immediately published, the legal status quo – which would allow booze to be sold when liquor stores opened on Monday morning – still appeared to be in place.

Curfews are back, between 21:00 and 04:00 every day

Though the country remains at Alert Level 3, the curfew that was associated with higher lockdown levels will be put in place again.

Between 21:00 and 04:00 only "people who need to travel to and from work or who need to seek urgent medical or other assistance" will be allowed out of their homes, Ramaphosa said.

That rule would kick in as of Monday, he said, just over 24 hours after his speech.

Everyone who controls any space will be required to enforce mask wearing

A long list of people, those in charge of offices, shops, transport facilities, and other public spaces, "are now legally obliged to ensure that anyone entering their premises or facilities or vehicles must be wearing a mask", Ramaphosa said.

Taxis must open some windows

On "long trips", taxi drivers must ensure they load only up to 70% capacity, Ramaphosa said, without specifying a distance. But on "local trips" they will be allowed to load fully subject to "new protocols".

The only new protocol he mentioned was "open windows", alongside existing rules that require vehicles to be sanitised and passengers to wear masks.

Parks may open, but family and other gatherings will remain banned

Parks will be allowed to "open for exercise, but not for any form of gathering," Ramaphosa said. But he was clear that "family visits and other social activities will, unfortunately, not be allowed for now."

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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