While people will be able to buy alcohol and drink at restaurants, bars or shebeens, the doors of nightclubs will remain closed to the public under level 2 of the lockdown.
“Having seen how young people have carried the virus to the elderly from nightclubs, we’ll continue with our nightclubs closed,” Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said on Monday.
The Minister was updating the media on COVID-19 lockdown regulations following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Saturday night.
The Minister said South Africa has taken lessons from countries who have opened their nightclub scene.
“We’ve heard from other countries who opened up nightclubs. They had to close them pretty fast because the virus was moving as fast and as energetic as the people at the nightclub,” she said.
According to the gazetted Disaster Management Act, most businesses may now operate except for international passenger air travel for leisure, passenger ships for international leisure, attendance of any sporting event by spectators and international sports events.
“Businesses with more than 100 employees, working together in a group in the same floor space, must where possible, make provision for minimising the number of employees at the workplace at any given time,” the gazette reads.
This can be done through rotation, staggered working hours, shift systems, remote working arrangements or similar measures to achieve social distancing and to limit congestion in public transport and at the workplace.
The gazette noted that under the National State of Disaster, all borders must remain shut.
However, this excludes ports of entry designated by the Cabinet member responsible for Home Affairs for the transportation of fuel, cargo and goods, and entry of foreign sea crew for the exchange of sea crew.
In addition, borders will be open for humanitarian operations, repatriations, evacuations, medical emergencies, the movement of staff of diplomatic and international organisations and other exceptions as may be determined by the Minister of Home Affairs.
According to the level 2 regulations gazetted by the government, male and female initiation practices are prohibited for the duration of the National State of Disaster.
“A person may not arrange or hold an initiation school or conduct an initiation practice; a prospective initiate may not attend an initiation school and an owner of land may not provide consent for the use of his or her land for the holding of an initiation school,” said the gazette.
A traditional surgeon or medical practitioner may not perform circumcision as part of an initiation practice.
“The National House of Traditional Leaders and provincial houses of traditional leaders must take steps to ensure that traditional leaders are aware of the content of this regulation,” it noted.
Call for vigilance
Meanwhile, the Minister thanked South Africans for their contribution to the fight against COVID-19
“But the fight is not over, it’s continuing. Even though we have risked the restrictions, the risk is also increasing because it’s the people who move the virus,” she said.
She has urged people to remain vigilant to defeat the virus and work together to curb the transmission of the virus.
“Indeed, it’s in our hands and it’s not done until it’s done,” she said at the briefing held at the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) head office.