How South Africa’s New Virus Restrictions Will Affect Business

South Africa has tightened rules aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus as a surge in new infections and the rapid spread of a new, more aggressive strain stretches the healthcare system to breaking point. These are some of the key restrictions published in the government gazette on Tuesday:

Permissible Business

  • Most businesses can continue trading but they must adhere to strict health protocols and ensure their customers and workers observe social distancing. Staff should be encouraged to work from home and face-to-face meetings should be restricted.
  • Restaurants, cinemas, theaters, casinos, gyms, museums, auction houses and professional sporting venues must close by 8 p.m.
  • Restaurants, conference centers, cinemas, theaters and gyms can only admit a maximum of 50 people to indoor venues and 100 people to outdoor venues.
  • Travel in and out the country will be allowed. International visitors must produce a negative Covid-19 test obtained less than 72 hours before they travel.
  • Hotels, lodges and guest houses can operate at full capacity.
  • Sports matches are permitted, but spectators can’t attend.

Restricted industries and activities

  • The sale and distribution of all alcohol for on and off-site consumption is banned until Jan. 15.
  • Public gatherings won’t be allowed for two weeks. Funerals are permitted, but are restricted to 50 people.
  • Beaches, rivers, lakes and dams are off limits in districts that have been declared virus hotspots.
  • All bars, nightclubs and public swimming pools will be closed.
  • Visits to old-age homes, prisons, police holding cells and military detention facilities are banned.

Other restrictions

  • A night-time curfew has been extended to between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • The wearing of face masks will be mandatory in all indoor and outdoor public places. Failure to comply will result in a fine or a prison sentence of up to six months, or both.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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