As South Africa shifts into its next phase of lockdown, it seems the opportunities to meet up with friends and family at organised gatherings are set to expand over the Autumn. President Ramaphosa has confirmed that South Africa will move to Level 1 of lockdown this week, a little over two months since these ‘softer regulations’ were last in place.

Level 1 restrictions on gatherings

We’ve come a long way from Bheki Cele trying to get us in bed for 21:00 on New Year’s Eve. The picture has changed dramatically for SA in 2021, as new cases, deaths, and hospitalisations all plummeted. The peak of the second wave has been and gone, and although Cyril is asking citizens to remain responsible, more social interactions will be permitted.

Gatherings at faith-based institutions are limited to 100 persons or less in case of an indoor gathering and 250 persons or less in case of an outdoor gathering. No more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used, however, to accommodate for social distancing. In fact, those three numbers apply to many venues under Level 1 restrictions.

Where are people allowed to meet up?

The ‘250 outdoor, 100 indoor, and 50% of capacity’ rule will be in force for the following locations:

  • – Social events, such as parties, braais, and any organised gatherings
  • – Political events and traditional council meetings
  • – All workplaces allowed to operate under Level 1 of lockdown
  • – Conferences and meetings 
  • – Concerts and live performances
  • – Cinemas and theatres
  • – Casinos
  • – Sports grounds and fields
  • – Museums, galleries, libraries, and archives
  • – Beaches, and any informal events planned at these locations
  • – Gyms and fitness centres
  • – Bars and restaurants
  • – Auctions

Level 1: Can I visit my friends and family at their homes?

At Adjusted Level 3 and Level 2 of lockdown, the government confirmed that 10 people were allowed to gather in one home. However, it remains unclear what the exact figure is for Level 1.

Later this week, the NCCC will outline the exact parameters of the new lockdown restrictions, and we should receive an update on private gatherings in other houses at some point in the next few days.

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Presh JM Reporter

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