December Lockdown: Break these rules and face a fine or jail time

Photo by Isabella Mendes from Pexels

On Tuesday the official lockdown rules for December were gazetted into law by government. The following restrictions came into immediate effect and will remain in effect until January 3, 2021.

New curfew
Curfew starts at 22:00 in hotspot areas, while the rest of the country, will have a curfew from 23:00 until 04:00 daily. Only essential workers and those attending to a security or medical emergency are allowed out outside of curfew.

Early closing times
Outside of hotspots, the closing time for any and all venues, whether indoors or outdoors, is 22:00 daily. The regulations state that “any other place where a gathering may take place,” must close at 22:00 during December lockdown.

Mask rules
Masks are mandatory for every person when in a public place during lockdown. No person will be allowed to use, operate or perform any service on any form of public transport without one or be allowed into any building or premises, or in any other public open space without a mask.

Alcohol sales
Retail sales of alcohol will only be allowed from 10:00 to 18:00 on Mondays to Thursdays. Registered wineries and wine farms may continue to sell alcohol during the same hours on Fridays and Saturdays. In restaurants, bars and shebeens, alcohol may be served until 22:00, in line with the curfew.

Attendance of a funeral is limited to a maximum of 100 persons during lockdown. Night vigils and after-funeral gatherings, including “after- tears” gatherings are banned

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Gatherings at indoor venues are limited to 100 people. If the venue is too small to hold 100 persons observing a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other, then not more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 250 people.

Beaches in the Eastern Cape and Garden Route District will be closed to the public from 16 December until 3 January. All beaches in KwaZulu-Natal will be closed to the public on 16, 25, 26 and 31 December 2020 and 1, 2 and 3 January 2021. Beaches in the Northern Cape and the Western Cape provinces (excluding the Garden Route District beaches) will be open, but only between 09:00 and 18:00. Beaches restrictions do not apply to fishermen who have a permit or exemption.

Access to national and provincial parks will remain open to the public with strict control measures and entry/capacity limitations during December lockdown.

Public parks in the Eastern Cape will be closed from 16 December 2020 until 3 January 2021, and in KwaZulu-Natal on 16, 25, 26 and 31 December 2020 and 1, 2 and 3 January 2021. Public parks that are allowed to open can only be accessed between 09:00 and 18:00.

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Fine and/or Jail Time
The new regulations specify that any person who doesn’t adhere to the restrictions outlined above could be liable for a fine, or jail time of up to six months, or both. Businesses will face the same penalties.

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