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LOCKDOWN ENDS | These are the 3 remaining Covid-19 lockdown rules from Tuesday

Business Insider SA
  • South Africa's complex and detailed lockdown rules fall away at midnight, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday.
  • Long-term regulations for the management of Covid-19 are due to be finalised some time after mid-April.
  • In the meanwhile – for a maximum of 30 days – only three rules will remain, in a transitional arrangement.
  • They are masks, gathering restrictions, and entry rules for travel from abroad.
  • Two other remaining measures will keep the R350 disaster grant flowing, and will keep expired driving licences valid.
  • A final surviving regulation will keep the vaccine injury compensation scheme alive.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

On Tuesday morning, South Africans will wake up to only three remaining coronavirus lockdown restrictions, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night.

All other restrictions will end at midnight, when the national state of disaster on Covid-19 is cancelled – after 750 days during which the executive ruled by decree.

Legislation allows for transitional arrangements to recover from a disaster after the actual state of disaster has ended, Ramaphosa said. Those provisions will be used to legally underpin the remaining three rules.

UPDATE | The post-lockdown rules now in effect, including hugging at schools and closed border posts

That means the three rules will automatically lapse within 30 days, Ramaphosa said.

By that time, the government hopes to have in place new health regulations that will allow for the same or similar rules to be applied, without the need to declare a state of disaster.

The health regulations are open to comment until mid-April. Once comments have been considered, the rules will be promulgated, Ramaphosa said.

These are the three rules that will remain in place for up to a month from Tuesday.

Masks in indoor settings

The current mask regime will be continued, Ramaphosa said. That means no mask is required in most outdoor places, but in shared indoor spaces, masks will remain mandatory.

See also | Face masks will not go away with the end of the state of disaster, under new draft rules

Gathering restrictions

The recently-relaxed rules for gatherings will also remain unchanged, Ramaphosa said. That means any venue, indoor or outdoor, can be filled to 50% of normal capacity, as long as vaccination status is checked at entry.

For those not vaccinated, or where proof of vaccination is not required, indoor gatherings will have an absolute limit of 1,000 people, and outdoor gatherings can go as high as 2,000 people.

Entry rules for travel from abroad

Anyone who wishes to enter South Africa will still have to show either that they are fully vaccinated, or must produce a PCR test no more than 72 hours old, Ramaphosa said.

Those who do neither will have to take a rapid antigen test at the border, he said – and will need to isolate for 10 days if positive.

See also | SA prepares to allow self-isolation – as long as you have an en-suite bathroom and internet

Special grants and driving licence extensions also remain...

Two other sets of provisions of lockdown rules are also due to survive the end of the state of disaster, Ramaphosa said.

The regulations that allow for the payment of R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grants to those with no other form of income will be continued. So will the rules that extended expired driving licences that could not be renewed during the pandemic.

... as does the compensation system for vaccine injury

Government will also keep in place the Covid-19 Vaccine Injury No-Fault Compensation Scheme, Ramaphosa said, which "will only be terminated once it has achieved its purpose".

Lockdown regulations mean that government scheme is solely responsible to pay compensation to anyone injured through a Covid-19 vaccination, while other normal options, such as suing the manufacturer or the institution where the vaccine is administered, are closed off. 

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