What is a Alert Level 3?

Alert Level 3 is a phase of the nation-wide restrictions in place during the State of Disaster that requires all South Africans to stay at their place of residence to prevent the spread of Covid-19 unless you are performing a work or social activity that is permitted by the regulations.

If you leave your place of residence you must always wear a cloth face mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth, or another appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth.

During Alert Level 3 there is a curfew in place from 22H00 until 04H00 every day, and you need to stay at home unless you have a permit to perform an essential or permitted service or you are attending to a security or medical emergency.

See details below on other exceptions that allow you to leave your place of residence during Alert Level 3.

How long will the Alert Level 3 be in place for?

Alert Level 3 commenced on 1 June 2020 and will be in place until it is withdrawn and/or replaced by a different alert level through further amendments to the regulations that are issued by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, under the current State of Disaster.

The full national lockdown (Alert Level 5) began at midnight on Thursday, 26 March, and ended on midnight on Thursday, 30 April. Alert Level 4 of the restrictions were then in place from 1 – 30 May 2020.

When can I leave my place of residence while under Alert Level 3?

During Alert Level 3 you may leave your place of residence if you are doing the following:

  • You are performing any permitted service;
  • You are going to and from work;
  • You are buying goods or obtaining services, except for those goods or serves which are excluded;
  • You are moving children as permitted;
  • You are exercising between the hours of 06H00 to 18H00. This may not be done in organised groups of more than four people and must adhere to health protocols and social distancing measures;
  • You are attending a place of worship in the same or another metropolitan area or district within the same province (which is limited to 50 people or less, depending on the size of the place of worship);
  • You are attending a school or learning institution, once these are opened; and
  • You are travelling for leisure purposes as permitted.

You must wear a cloth face mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth when in a public place, or any other appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth.

You are also not allowed to be in a public place, use any form of public transport, or enter a building, place or premises if you do not wear a cloth face mask or another appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth.

During Alert Level 3 you will NOT be able to:

  • Leave South Africa; or
  • Travel between the provinces, except when you are:
    • Travelling in the course of carrying out work responsibilities or performing a permitted service and you have a permit issued by your employer;
    • Moving to a new place of residence or caring for an immediate family member, provided that you are in possession of an affidavit in the form as prescribed by the regulations;
    • Performing oversight responsibilities as a member of Parliament;
    • Commuting to or from school or higher education institutions as a learner or student during periods when those schools or institutions are permitted to operate and provided that you are in possession of a certificate in the prescribed form, issued by the head of the school or institution;
    • Attending a funeral as outlined below;
    • Transporting mortal remains;
    • Obtaining medical treatment;
    • Returning to your place of residence from a quarantine or isolation facility; or
    • Moving between provinces as permitted by the Minister of Home Affairs or person designated by him or her under regulation 41 (for example, for emergency medical treatment for a life-threatening condition, the repatriation of a foreign national, return of a South African national or permanent resident to his or her place of employment, study or residence etc.).

What will happen if I don't obey the Alert Level 3 regulations?

Anyone who convenes a prohibited gathering or hinders, interferes with or obstructs an enforcement officer when exercising his or her powers or performing his or her duties, commits an offence and is on conviction liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Anyone who fails to comply with or contravenes a provision of:

  • regulation 35(3), prohibiting night vigils;
  • regulation 36(1), which deals with evictions;
  • regulation 38(1), which prohibits initiation practices;
  • regulation 39(1) and (2), which governs places and premises closed to the public;
  • regulation 44(2), (4), (5) and (6), governing the sale and consumption of liquor; or
  • regulation 45, prohibiting the sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products, commits an offence and is on conviction liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

I am aware of businesses selling essential goods at hiked prices - who can I report this to?

Consumers can report unjustified price increases on any essential goods and other key products to the National Consumer Commission on their toll-free hotline: 0800-014-880.

What if I have an emergency?

Emergency services including doctors, clinics, hospitals and pharmacies will continue to operate as usual.

Who will be able to work?

Under Alert Level 3, most businesses are allowed to operate, with the exception of those that are excluded from operating.

However, if you can work from home, please continue to do so. Staying at home ensures that those who can’t work from home can return to work safely as the number of people on public transport and in the workplace are reduced and social distancing can be maintained.

How can I grocery shop safely?

When grocery shopping, keep a distance of at least 1.5-metres from others and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose. If possible, sanitise the handles of shopping trolleys or baskets before shopping. Once home wash our hands thoroughly and also after handling and storing your purchased products.

Can I still use public transport during Alert Level 3?

Yes, you can use public transport during Alert Level 3, but please only do so if absolutely necessary.

When you travel on public transport you MUST wear a mask, or other nose and mouth covering at all times.

All operators must ensure that public transport vehicles are sanitised before picking up and after dropping off passengers. They must also ensure that all public transport vehicles’ doors and window handles, arm rests and hand rails are sanitized after each load and must encourage passengers to sanitize after they enter the vehicle and after getting off the vehicle. Owners of public transport facilities must put measures in place to adhere to physical distancing to curb the spread of the virus.

E-hailing, meter taxis, shuttle services and chauffer driven vehicles may not carry more than 50% of their permissible passenger carrying capacity. Mini and midi-bus taxi vehicles may not carry more than 70% of their maximum licensed passenger carrying capacity. Buses may not carry more than 50% of their permissible passenger carrying capacity. Scholar transport vehicles may not carry more than 70% of their maximum licensed passenger carrying capacity.

If you are providing an essential service and unable to travel to your work, your employer may make the necessary transport arrangements for you to get to work.

If any essential service employers are experiencing problems with transporting their staff to work, they can contact the Department of Transport and Public Works on HOD.TransportPublicWorks@westerncape.gov.za, stating the nature of their transport challenge. Please provide specific details, including number of people that need to be transported, from where, to where, at what time.

If you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms related to Covid-19, such as a fever or coughing, then it is better to stay at home. This is not only for yourself, but also to avoid infecting other commuters.

What do I need to do in order to attend a funeral?

You will be able to attend a funeral, but there can be no more than 50 people at the funeral, no night vigil must be held, and all safety and hygiene measures must be followed to stop the spread of Covid-19.

You will only be allowed to travel between a province, metropolitan area or district to attend a funeral if you are the:

  • spouse or partner of the deceased;
  • child or grandchild of the deceased, whether biological, adopted or stepchild;
  • child-in-law of the deceased;
  • parent of the deceased whether biological, adopted or stepparent;
  • sibling, whether biological, adopted or stepbrother or sister of the deceased; or
  • grandparent of the deceased.

Each person, whether traveling alone or not, who wants to attend a funeral and who has to travel between districts, or between provinces to attend the funeral must obtain a permit, which must be in the prescribed form. You can get this from your nearest magistrate's office or police station. This will allow you to travel to the funeral and back again.

When requesting the permit, you must produce a death certificate or a certified copy of the death certificate to the Magistrate who is the head of office or the station commander of the police station or a person designated by him or her. If a death certificate is not yet available and the funeral must be held within 24 hours in keeping with cultural and religious practices, the person requesting the permit must make a sworn affidavit, in the prescribed form, together with a letter from a cultural or religious leader confirming the need for the funeral within 24 hours.

Only two family members of the deceased may, with the required permits, be present in the vehicle transporting the mortal remains to the metropolitan or district area, or province where the funeral will take place, provided that the cause of death of the deceased being transported is non-Covid-19 related.

Can I move house during Alert Level 3?

Yes, you may move to a new place of residence, even if the new place of residence is located in a different province, metropolitan, district or hotspot, provided a permit is obtained, which must be in the prescribed form.

Can I be evicted from my home during Alert Level 3?

No, you may not be evicted from your land or home under Alert Level 3, unless a court grants an order for your eviction. According to the Regulations A competent court may grant an order for the eviction of a person from his or her land or home in terms of the provisions of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act, 1997 (Act No. 62 of 1997) and the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, 1998 (Act No. 19 of 1998), provided that an order of eviction may be stayed and suspended until the last day of the Alert Level 3 period, unless a court decides that it is not just and equitable to stay and suspend the order until the last day of the Alert Level 3 period.

Can I go to a government facility to visit someone during Alert Level 3?

During Alert Level 3 all health facility visitations will be cancelled except to receive treatment or medication in accordance with health protocols.

Patients who need to seek emergency life-saving care, family planning service and antenatal care can attend their facility as well as those who have had their appointments confirmed.

In addition, no members of the public may visit the following facilities:

  • Correctional Centres
  • Remand Detention Facilities
  • Police Holding Cells
  • Military Detention Facilities
  • Older Persons’ Residential Facilities.

As divorced parents who share custody over our child(ren), will we be allowed to transfer our child(ren) between homes?

The Alert Level 3 regulations only allow for the movement of children between homes in the same metropolitan area or district municipality in the event of co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights of caregivers, where the holders of parental responsibilities / rights of caregivers are in possession off:

  • a court order;
  • where a parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan, registered with the family advocate, is in existence; or
  • in the absence of a court order or parenting plan, a permit is issued by a magistrate which corresponds with Form 3 of Annexure A of the COGTA regulations.

The movement of children between co- holders of parental responsibilities and rights or a caregiver, as defined in section 1(1) of the Children's Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), between different metropolitan areas, district municipalities or provinces is allowed if the co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights or a caregiver is in possession of a permit issued by a magistrate which corresponds with Form 3 of Annexure A.

The household to which the child has to move, must be free of Covid-19.

Before a magistrate issues the permit referred to above they must be provided with:

  • a birth certificate or certified copy of a birth certificate of the child or children to prove a legitimate relationship between the co- holders of parental responsibilities and rights: and
  • written reasons why the movement of the child is necessary.

Before a magistrate issues a permit referred to above, he or she must be provided with:

  • a court order
  • a parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan registered with the family advocate or
  • a birth certificate or certified copy of a birth certificate of the child or children to prove a legitimate relationship between the co- holders of parental responsibilities and rights; and
  • written reasons why the movement of the child is necessary.
  • a birth certificate or certified copy of a birth certificate of the child or children to prove a legitimate relationship between the co- holders of parental responsibilities and rights: and
  • written reasons why the movement of the child is necessary.

Before a magistrate issues a permit referred to above, he or she must be provided with:

  • a court order
  • a parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan registered with the family advocate or
  • a birth certificate or certified copy of a birth certificate of the child or children to prove a legitimate relationship between the co- holders of parental responsibilities and rights; and
  • written reasons why the movement of the child is necessary.

Can I leave my home to walk my dog, or do any exercises, such as jogging or cycling?

Yes, you can leave your home to walk, run or cycle during the Alert Level 3, but you can only do so from 06H00 to 18H00.

Can I buy alcohol during the Alert Level 3?

No alcohol may be sold or transported for domestic sale during Alert Level 3. The only exception is where alcohol is required for industries producing hand sanitisers, disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use and household cleaning products, or where alcohol is being sold and transported for purposes of export.

Can I buy cigarettes during Alert Level 3?

No, you can’t buy cigarettes, including all tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products, during the Alert Level 3.

Can I play professional sports matches during Alert Level 3?

Only professional non-contact sports matches can be played during Alert Level 3. The match may only include players, match officials, journalists and medical and television crew, and follow all health and safety protocols.

Can initiation practises take place during Alert Level 3?

No, during Alert Level 3, male or female initiation practices or initiation schools are not allowed, and circumcisions may not be performed as part of an initiation practice.