South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in an address to the nation on 12 September 2021 that based on the recommendations of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19, which have been discussed at the National Coronavirus Command Council and with Premiers, mayors and traditional leaders in the President’s Coordinating Council, the Cabinet of South Africa has decided to move the country from Adjusted Alert Level 3 to Adjusted Alert Level 2 with effect from 13 September 2021. This means that:
- The hours of curfew will now start at 23:00 and end at 04:00.
- Non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres will need to close by 22:00. This is to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.
- All gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors.
- Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used.
- This includes religious services, political events and social gatherings, as well as restaurants, bars, taverns and similar places.
- The sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption will be permitted between 10:00 and 18:00 from Monday to Friday.
- Alcohol sales for on-site consumption will be permitted as per licence conditions up to 22:00.
- Alcohol consumption remains prohibited in public spaces.
These measures will be reviewed in two weeks time depending on the state of the pandemic in South Africa.
Several important measures remain in place:
- It remains mandatory for every person to wear a face mask that always covers their nose and mouth when in public spaces.
- It is a criminal offence not to do so, and the managers of shops and restaurants as well as drivers of taxis and buses have a responsibility to ensure that their customers wear masks, and that the appropriate social distancing measures are in place.
- Funerals remain restricted to no more than 50 people, and, as before, night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.