New Level 1 lockdown changes for South Africa – including sporting events, religious gatherings and labor rules


The government has issued a series of guidelines that update the country’s lockdown rules in a number of areas, including opening borders, sporting and religious gatherings.

The directives come as the country further eases its Level 1 lockdown restrictions to allow the reopening of borders and entry of international tourists.

These new locking rules are described in more detail below.

International sports and events

With the opening of the country’s borders, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma issued a new directive allowing the resumption of certain international sports.

The directive stipulates that sports, artistic and cultural activities, including professional and non-professional matches, organized by recognized sports bodies, are permitted, subject to the following conditions:

  • International sporting, artistic and cultural events must involve countries with a low or medium rate of Covid-19 infection and the rate of transmission is allowed;
  • International sporting, artistic and cultural events involving countries with high rates of infection and transmission of Covid-19 are prohibited.

Religious gatherings

Dlamini-Zuma also published a directive which further details the restrictions around religious gatherings.

The directive specifies that:

  • Religious gatherings are limited to 250 people or less in the case of an indoor gathering and 500 or less in the case of an outdoor gathering, provided that no more than 50% of the capacity of the place to be used, with persons observing a distance of at least one and a half meters from each other, and subject to the conditions set out in these instructions;
  • Religious organizations should, where possible, organize services through virtual platforms, including online and social media, to avoid large gatherings and continue to reach people who are self-isolating or particularly vulnerable to Covid -19;
  • Religious gatherings can be held successively indoors or outdoors or both indoors and outdoors simultaneously, provided there is at least an hour between services.

The directive also assigns specific responsibilities to religious leaders or those in charge of places of worship.

This includes rules around screening, personal protection, taking communion and sharing fluids, and additional health protocols.

In particular, each religious leader or person in charge of the place of worship must ensure that there is no physical contact between those present at the place of worship, including handshakes and hugs.

Work rules

Labor Minister Thulas Nxesi issued a directive outlining the occupational health and safety rules for the remainder of the country’s disaster state.

The directive serves to consolidate a number of existing rules regarding return to work, including:

  • Risk assessments for employees;
  • Screening protocols;
  • Isolation and instructions for returning to work;
  • Administrative rules;
  • Social distancing rules;
  • Health and hygiene protocols.

Nxesi said that directive will remain in effect for the remainder of the country’s disaster state.


Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has issued a number of directives regarding the opening of South Africa’s land, sea and air borders.

  • The first one directive deals with cross-border transport, including the rules that truck drivers and other freight facilities must follow;
  • The second directive deals with the country’s seaports, including procedures for disembarking crews as well as resuming voyages of passenger ships;
  • The third directive deals with the resumption of air services, including confirming the rules that passengers will have to follow if they wish to fly to and from South Africa.

Although not officially published in the Official Gazette, earlier this week Home Secretary Aaron Motsoaledi released a list of countries considered to be at high risk, where travelers will not be allowed to enter. the country :

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Luxembourg
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Portugal
  • Porto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Suriname
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United emirates
  • UK
  • United States
  • Venezuela

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