BREAKING: National lockdown update

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BREAKING: National lockdown update

Schools will close from 27 July to 24 August 2020

Latest update: 23 July 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa took to the podium on Thursday night to address the nation, as the country surpassed 400,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19. 

The country will remain in alert level 3 of lockdown, but some regulations have changed.

With the number of infections rising in a number of areas in the country, there have been calls for schools to be closed again. After the Department of Education consulted with a number of groups, including teachers, unions, parent bodies, and more, the decision has been made to close public schools from 27 July to 24 August. There are some exceptions: grade 12 learners and teachers will only take a one week break, returning on 3 August. Grade 7 learners will take a two-week break, returning on 10 August. As a reult of the disruptions caused by the pandemic, the academic year will be extended. Details will follow. 


In the face of high rates of transmission, the government introduced stricter measures to prevent infection earlier in July. "We are not helpless in the face of this storm", said the president, citing measures to keep ourselves and our communities safe. 

  • Alcohol sales, dispensing, and distribution will be banned with immediate effect, in order to preserve hospital capacity. 
  • A curfew is in place between 10pm and 4am, as of Thursday, 30 July. 
  • 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.

The following activites may continue: 

  • Conferences and meetings for business purposes, in line with restrictions on gatherings;
  • Restaurants for sit-down meals; 
  • Accredited and licensed accommodation with the exception of house shares such as Airbnb;
  • Cinemas and theatres (aligned to limitations on gatherings); 
  • Casinos;
  • Personal care services including hairdressers and beauty services; 
  • Non-contact sports such as tennis and cricket; and 
  • Contact sports for training and modified activities. 


  • Auctions may resume 
  • Parks may be used for exercise

The sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes is not permitted under level 3. 

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. 

Funerals may take place with no more than 50 people. Only close relatives are permitted to attend funerals, and those travelling between provinces for a funeral are required to have a permit. 

Religious counselling is considered an essential service. Gatherings are permitted with health and hygiene measures in place, including wearing masks and 1.5m physical distancing. A maximum of 50 congregants is allowed, and a record of attendees must be kept. Congregants must also be screened upon arrival.


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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