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Following the President’s speech on 30 September 2021, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has gazetted amended Adjusted Alert Level 1 Regulations, which are now in effect.

This brief provides an overview of the changes contained in the adjusted Regulations, as well as the mandatory protocols and curfew hours which are in place. It should be noted that the changes are largely cosmetic from the Adjusted Alert Level 2 Regulations.

Mandatory protocols

Certain mandatory protocols remain in place, including:  

  • The wearing of a face mask covering nose and mouth continues to be mandatory for every person when in a public place (including public transport), excluding a child under the age of six years or individuals participating in vigorous exercise.
  • Employers may not allow any employee to perform any duty or enter the employment premises if he or she is not wearing a face mask.
  • The owner or operator of any indoor or outdoor facility where gatherings are held must display the certificate of occupancy which sets out the maximum number of persons the facility may hold. Failure to display a certificate of occupancy is an offence, liable to a fine and/or imprisonment not exceeding six months.
  • Businesses are required to determine the number of customers and/or employees inside the premises in order to provide social distancing of one and a half metres from each other.  
  • Every business is required to assign, in writing, an employee or any other suitable person, as the compliance employee, who must ensure compliance that all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and limitation of exposure to persons with Covid-19 are adhered to.
  • Businesses who fail to limit the number of customers and employees are liable to a fine or imprisonment.

Employers are mandated to adopt measures to promote physical distancing of employees, which include special measures for employees above the age of 60 and employees with known or disclosed health issues or comorbidities, who are at a higher risk of complications or death if infected with COVID-19.

Movement of persons

  • Every person remains confined to his or her place of residence between 00H00 and 04H00, daily, unless they are in possession of the required Form 7 permit or if they are attending a security or medical emergency, or if they are travelling to and from an airport (where the individual must be in possession of his or her flight ticket).
  • Form 7 remains the same as per previous Regulations.
  • Failure to adhere to the curfew hours constitutes an offence and, on conviction, the individual may be liable to a fine or period of imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment. 

Gatherings 

  • Gatherings are permitted, subject to health protocols and social distancing measures.
  • All faith-based, religious, social, political and cultural gatherings are permitted, subject to an increased limitation of 750 persons or less for indoor venues and 2000 persons or less for outdoor venues. If the venue is too small to hold the prescribed number of persons, then not more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue is to be used.
  • Conferencing, exhibitions, restaurants, bars, shebeens and taverns may operate subject to 750 persons or less for indoor venues and 2000 persons or less for outdoor venues, or not more than 50 percent capacity if the venue is too small to hold the prescribed number of persons.
  • Night clubs remain closed to the public under Adjusted Alert Level 1.

Funerals

  • Attendance at funerals and cremations are limited to 100 persons or less, subject to social distancing measures.
  • If the venue is too small to hold the prescribed number of persons, observing social distancing measures, then not more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used, subject to health protocols.
  • Funerals and/or cremation services remain restricted to a 2 hour period.
  • After-funerals gatherings and night vigils remain prohibited.

Evictions and rentals

  • Persons may still not be evicted from his or her land or have his or her place demolished for the extent of the national disaster, without a competent court order.
  • Landlords are required to give reasonable notice to tenants, as well as reasonably and in good faith to make necessary arrangements regarding alternative payment arrangements for the duration of the national state of disaster.

Initiation practices

  • Under Alert Level 1, initiation practices are permitted, subject to any regulations from the appropriate Cabinet member.
  • Post initiation celebrations are permitted.

Liquor

  • The sale, dispensing, transportation and distribution of liquor is permitted as usual, subject to laws governing licenses.
  • Alcohol for on-site consumption is permitted, subject to the curfew hours.

Businesses not permitted to operate

  • Under Adjusted Alert Level 1, night clubs are specifically prohibited from operating and remain closed to the public.
  • All other businesses are allowed to operate, subject to relevant health protocols and social distancing measures.
  • Businesses must adhere to sector-specific health protocols intended to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the sector concerned.

For more information, please contact Bryan White, Associate Designate at bryan@bv-inc.co.za .