Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says under Level 3 lockdown restrictions people are still allowed to visit, among others, restaurants, cinemas, and libraries.

This after President Cyril Ramaphosa moved the country to lockdown Level 3, saying it was necessary to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Ramaphosa banned the sale of alcohol for two weeks, placed a curfew across the country from 9 PM to 6 AM daily,  as well as ordered that non-essential establishments, such as bars and restaurants, must close at 8 PM.

Ramaphosa says failure to wear a mask in public can result in arrest, a fine, determined by a magistrate, and up to six months’ imprisonment.

Briefing the media on the adjustments to Level 3 lockdown restrictions Dlamini-Zuma says, “People can still go to restaurants, casinos, libraries, archives, and galleries. They have to be 50 maximum inside and 1.5 meters apart. Outdoors, it can be 100 people if a restaurant has outdoor seating. Cinemas are the same, you can still go to the cinema or theatre but keeping to those protocols.”

Dlamini-Zuma, also reiterated that the new curfew times must be adhered to.

“Just to clarify, the curfew now starts at 9PM to 6AM. This means that during that time, all of us must be at except those who are working or if you have an emergency – security or medical. But otherwise, we should be home. The virus does not move, it is moved by us. The more we move, the more the possibility of the virus moving.”

Level 3 restrictions will remain in force until the 15th of January next year – when they will be reviewed.

Dlamini-Zuma has reiterated the importance of wearing a face mask or covering, especially when engaging with people outside of your household.

“ When we are with people that are not from the same household, it is also useful o wear a mask, even if you are at home. When people come in and out you don’t know where they have come from, whether they are asymptomatic. Wearing a mask is now mandatory. If you are not wearing a mask you are committing an offense, you could be fined, sent to prison – so it is important to wear a mask.”

The Minister has listed the beaches that are closed to the public under lockdown Level 3.

“Beaches are closed in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal. They are closed for everything except fishermen. In the Northern Cape, they will be allowed but if it becomes a hotspot it will be closed. The Northern Cape is the only one where people can still go to the beach. “

Places of accommodation are still open to the public amid the Level 3 lockdown.

“Hotels, lodges, BnB’s and those kinds of accommodations are open because people are in their rooms and they can be filled to capacity. But in public spaces like restaurants, they have to observe the health protocols – 1.5m apart and wearing masks and making sure they sanitize,” adds Dlamini-Zuma.