BREAKING: National lockdown update

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BREAKING: National lockdown update

International travel and gatherings allowed as we move to alert level 1

Latest update: 16 September 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa took to the podium on Wednesday night to address the nation, exactly half a year since the national state of disaster was declared. Infection rates and hospitalisations have continued to decline since his last address, on 15 August 2020. 

The country will move to alert level 1, taking effect from midnight on Sunday, 20 September 2020. This will remove many of the remaining restrictions, including those on gatherings.

Our greatest challenge in the coming weeks and months is to avoid a resurgence in infections, such as those seen in other countries around the world, said Ramaphosa in his address. 

Coronavirus testing efforts are being ramped up as the demand on hospitals continues to decrease. Contact tracing measures are also being increased. There is an app available that uses no data to download, and will alert you if you have been exposed to the virus. Everyone with a smartphone is encouraged to download the contact tracing app

President Ramaphosa has outlined the new regulations. Further details will follow in the coming week.

  • The curfew will still apply from midnight to 4am.
  • Alcohol sales may take place from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.
  • Gyms and theatres are now allowed to accommodate up to 50% of their venue capacity as determined by the floor space, subject to social distancing and other protocols.
  • Sporting restrictions remain in place.
  • The IEC will be allowed to visit correctional facilities, old age homes, and similar institutions to do their work.


International travel for business and leisure travel are permitted after 1 October 2020. Travel may be restricted to and from countries with infection rates. A list of these countries will be published. King Shaka International, OR Tambo International, and Cape Town International Airports will be resuming international flights. Travellers will have to present a negative Covid-19 test taken within the last 72 hours. Failing to produce this test will result in mandatory quarantine, at the traveller's own cost. Screenings will also take place. 

All long term visas will be reinstated. Embassies will also repoen.

Gatherings are permitted, as long as capacity does not exceed 50% of the maximum capacity. There is a maximum of 250 people permitted at indoor gatherings, and 500 at outdoor gatherings.

Up to 100 people may attend funerals, but night vigils are still not permitted.


Some of the existing restrictions remain in place. 

  • Travel only for essential purposes.
  • Everyone is reminded to wear a cloth mask at any time they are out of the house. Employers, managers, shop owners, and building owners are obliged to enforce mask-wearing, and must appoint an official to do so.
  • Keep a safe distance of 2m from other people, and wash your hands and santise regularly.

All workers may go back to work on the condition that they adhere to strict safety measures. Domestic workers are included in this and may return to work. Workplaces must limit the number of employees permitted to return to work, and must maintain strict health protocols such as the wearing of masks, provision of hand sanitizers, screenings, and physical distancing of 1.5m. 

Every company must have a Covid-19 plan in place, and must appoint a Covid-19 compliance officer. The plan must be accessible by all employees and must be presented to inspectors on request. Failure to present this plan could result in the company being forced to close. 

Those who are able to work from home must be allowed and encouraged to do so. People over 60 or with comorbidities such as cancer, diabetes, and respiratory diseases are advised to stay home unless it is absolutely necessary. 


For more updates on Cape Town and coronavirus (COVID-19), including some of the good news we all need during this trying time, subscribe to our weekly newsletter

The situation is ever-changing and our team is committed to bringing you all the latest updates on COVID-19 in Cape Town

You might have cancelled many plans, but there’s still plenty to do to keep yourself entertained this weekend.

Need supplies? Check out these places that deliver during lockdown.


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