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This is what you can and cannot do – New Easter lockdown rules

Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published the government gazette which details South Africa’s revised COVID-19 alert level 1 lockdown restrictions.

The new restrictions – which were announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday night – are aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 at a time when many South Africans will be travelling, visiting family, or attending large gatherings during the Easter period.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

“Over the last few days we have sought the advice of experts and consulted with representatives of provincial and local government on what measures should be put in place over the coming long weekend to prevent a new outbreak of infections.”

“The reality is that greater movement of people, interprovincial travel, greater use of public transit, and gatherings present a great risk of an increase in infections,” Ramaphosa said.


With the exception of a ban on the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption from Friday 2 April until Monday 5 April, most of the adjusted alert level 1 restrictions announced by Ramaphosa at the end of February will be kept in place.

Alcohol can still be sold for on-site consumption at restaurants, bars, and shebeens, while the curfew will remain from midnight to 4:00am. Public recreational spaces such as beaches, parks, and dams can also remain open.

Bigger gatherings permitted
One major change is an increase in the maximum number of persons allowed at religious and other gatherings.

Previously, social, cultural, and religious gatherings were limited to 100 persons for indoor gatherings, and 250 persons for outdoor gatherings. To accommodate Easter festivities and religious gatherings in particular, this has been bumped up to 250 persons for indoor venues, and 500 persons for outdoor venues.

Ramaphosa said that the measures on the size of gatherings will be reviewed within 15 days based on an assessment on the state of the pandemic and the extent of compliance with health protocols.

One notable exception to the increase in gatherings is funerals, which will continue to be limited to 100 people at indoor venues and 250 at outdoor locations.

These new measures will be in effect from today, 31 March 2021.

The table below summarises what you are allowed and not allowed to do under the new COVID-19 alert level 1 rules.

What you are required to do
What you must do
  • Wear a cloth mask in public.
  • Keep a distance of 1.5m from other people.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Avoid crowds and gatherings.
  • Sanitise surfaces regularly.
What is not allowed
  • No person may be evicted from their land.
Leaving your home
What is allowed
  • A person must, when in a public place, wear a face mask, except when undertaking vigorous exercise.
What is not allowed
  • Every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 00:00 until 04:00 daily.
What is allowed
  • Attendance at a funeral is limited to 100 persons or less for indoor venues and 250 persons or less for outdoor venues.
  • During a funeral, a person must wear a face mask and adhere to all health protocols and social distancing measures.
What is not allowed
  • Night vigils and post-funeral gatherings are not allowed
What is allowed
  • Gatherings are limited to 250 persons or less in case of an indoor gathering and 500 persons or less in case of an outdoor gathering.
  • Gatherings are limited to not more than 50% of the capacity of the venue.
  • Gatherings at gyms and fitness centres, and faith-based gatherings, subject to health protocols.
  • Venues which host gatherings, such as restaurants and cinemas, must close at 23:00 daily.
  • Social, cultural, and faith-based gatherings are allowed.
What is not allowed
  • Mo more than 50% of the venue capacity may be used.
  • No congregants ate religious gatherings may sleep over at the place of worship after the service.
  • No spectators are allowed at the venue of a sports match.
  • No international sports events involving countries with a high COVID-19 infection risk are allowed.
Night Clubs
What is not allowed
  • Night clubs are closed to the public.
Opening of Borders
What is allowed
  • Travelling to and from South Africa via air travel is allowed, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • All international travellers must present a negative COVID-19 test or finance their own upon arrival.
  • International air travel is restricted to OR Tambo, King Shaka, Lanseria, Kruger Mpumalanga, and Cape Town International Airports.
  • The 20 land borders which were previously operational will remain fully operational.
What is not allowed
  • The 33 land borders which were closed will remain closed.
Public Transport
What is allowed
  • All public transport allowed, with strict safety guidelines and the mandatory wearing of masks.
Beaches and Parks
What is allowed
  • Beaches, botanical gardens, aquariums, dams, zoos, and other public spaces are open to the public all day, except during the hours of the curfew.
Sale and Dispensing of Liquor
What is allowed
  • The sale of liquor by licensed premises for on-site consumption is permitted, subject to strict adherence to the curfew.
  • The transportation of liquor is allowed.
What is not allowed
  • The consumption of liquor in public places, except in licensed premises, is not permitted.
  • The sale of liquor by licensed premises for off-site consumption is not permitted for the period between 00:01 on Friday 2 April 2021 and 23:59 on Monday 5 April 2021.
Economic Sector
What is allowed
  • All businesses may operate, with certain exceptions.
What is not allowed
  • Night clubs and international sports events involving high-risk COVID-19 countries are not allowed.
Movement between provinces
What is allowed
  • Free movement between provinces allowed.
Exercise and Sport
What is allowed
  • Exercise like walking, jogging, and cycling is allowed, except between 00:00 and 04:00.

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