On August 15, 2020, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) announced the extension of the national state of disaster. The national state of disaster was declared under Government Gazette No 43096 of 15 March 2020 (and extended by Government Gazette Nos 646 of June 5, 2020 and 765 of July 13, 2020), from August 15, 2020 to September 15, 2020. The reason for the extension of the national state of disaster is linked to the need “to continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of state to address the impact of the disaster”. On the same day, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a decision to transition the country from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2 of the Risk Adjusted Strategy, following consultation with the National Coronavirus Command Council, Cabinet and the President’s Coordinating Council.Government Gazette No. 43620 sets out the revised restrictions that will govern this period effective 00H01 on August 18, 2020. The following restrictions have been lifted:

  • All inter-provincial travel.
  • Accommodation, hospitality venues, and tours may operate in accordance with approved protocols to ensure social distancing.
  • Restaurants, bars, and taverns may operate according to strict guidelines with respect to hours of operation and numbers of people who may gather at any given time.
  • The sale of tobacco products will be permitted.
  • The sale of alcohol may proceed for on-site consumption in licensed establishments until 22:00. Liquor outlets may sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday through Thursday from 09:00 to 17:00.
  • Restrictions on family and social visits may resume, though all should exercise extreme caution and undertake such visits only where necessary.

For further information, please reach out to Covington’s COVID-19 Task Force at COVID19@cov.com, Robert Kayihura at RKayihura@cov.com, and/or Mosa Mkhize at MMkhize@cov.com.

This post can also be found on CovAfrica, the firm’s blog on legal, regulatory, political and economic developments in Africa.