What is a Alert Level 4

Alert Level 4 is a phase of the nation-wide restrictions in place during the State of Disaster that requires all South Africans to stay at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19 unless:

  • You are performing an essential or permitted service
  • You are going to work where a permit, in the prescribed form, has been issued to you
  • You are buying permitted goods
  • You are obtaining permitted services (such as collecting a social grant or obtaining medical or veterinary services)
  • You are moving children as permitted
  • You are walking, running or cycling between the hours of 06h00 to 09h00, within a five-kilometre radius of your place of residence (this may not be done in organised groups)

During Alert Level 4 there is a curfew in place from 20h00 until 05h00 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 4.

How long will the Alert Level 4 be in place for?

The full national lockdown (Alert Level 5) began at midnight on Thursday 26 March and ended on midnight on Thursday 30 April. We are now in Alert Level 4 of the restrictions, which commenced on 1 May and will remain in force up to the declaration of different Alert Levels for the duration of the national state of disaster.

When will Alert Level 4 end?

At this stage, we don't know. National government will continue to monitor the situation and the rate of Covid-19 infections to determine the best course of action to stop the spread of Covid-19. More information will be communicated as the situation develops.

When can I leave my place of residence while under Alert Level 4?

During Alert Level 4 you will be able to leave your place of residence to buy permitted goods or to obtain permitted services, including for example buying food, seeking medical care, visiting the pharmacy, accessing banking services, getting petrol and collecting a social grant.

Note that you do not have to fill out a form to leave the house to buy permitted goods, or to obtain permitted services.

Only those leaving their homes to go to work require a permit from their employer to confirm that they are performing essential or permitted services.

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 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.

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

During Alert Level 4 you will NOT be able to:

  • Travel between the provinces
  • Travel between the City of Cape Town metropolitan area and district areas of the Western Cape
  • Leave South Africa

The only exception allowing travel between provinces and between metropolitan and district areas is if you are:

  • A worker who has a permit to perform an essential or permitted service and you have to commute to and from work on a daily basis
  • Transporting mortal remains
  • Attending a funeral, as allowed
  • A learner who has to commute to and from school or higher education institutions on a daily basis during periods when those institutions are permitted to operate
  • Movement of cargo within the Republic for the transportation of essential goods for import, for the import of materials and components required for the manufacturing activities allowed under Alert Level 4, of cargo at ports of entry, of goods cleared at ports of entry for removal in transit through the Republic destined for neighbouring countries, of permitted goods for export, and of goods within the Republic.

Also, if you weren’t at your place of residence, or work before the lockdown, you may, on a once-off basis, return to your place of residence or work, and you will be required to stay there until the end of Alert Level 4. People who wish to make use of this once-off option to travel can only so during the period 1 May 2020 to 7 May 2020, and you don’t need to have a permit in order to cross provincial, metropolitan or district boundaries.   

You may also, on a once-off basis, move residence and transport your household furniture and effects during the period of 7 May 2020 to 7 June 2020. This is relevant to those who may have signed a new lease before or during the lockdown period or transferred property before the lockdown period. Note that you are required to obtain a permit from the station commander of a police station or a person designated by him or her to travel across provincial, metropolitan or district boundaries. To obtain the permit you will be required to indicate the names of those who are part of the household and will be required to move and present a relevant lease agreement indicating the date of expiry of the old lease and the date of commencement of the new lease, or the transfer documents attesting to the change in place of residence or change of ownership of property.

What will happen if I don't obey the Alert Level 4 regulations?

Anyone who contravenes the Alert Level 4 regulations by convening a gathering, or hindering, interfering with or obstructing an enforcement officer, or not adhering to the restrictions on movement and closures, or not adhering to the prohibitions on evictions, the sale, dispensing and distribution or transportation of liquor and the sale tobacco, e-cigarettes and related products, and retail stores selling goods other than permitted goods, will be guilty of an offence and on conviction, liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Can I refuse to be tested for Covid-19, or refuse to be put into quarantine or isolation?

If you have tested positive for Covid-19, either as a clinical case or as a laboratory confirmed case, or if you are suspected of having contracted Covid-19, or if you have been in contact with a person who is a carrier of Covid-19, you may not refuse to:

  • submit to a medical examination, including but not limited to the taking of any bodily sample by a person authorised in law to do so;
  • be admitted to a health establishment or a quarantine or isolation site; or
  • submit to mandatory prophylaxis, treatment, isolation or quarantine, in order to prevent transmission.

If you do not comply with the instruction or order of the enforcement officer, you will be placed in isolation or quarantine for a period not exceeding 48 hours, pending a warrant being issued by a competent Court, on application by an enforcement officer for the medical examination.

How do I lay a complaint against law enforcement?

Complaints against SAPS can be submitted to the Western Cape Police Ombudsman (WCPO) if it relates to police ineffeciency:
Email: ombudsman@wcpo.gov.za
Or you can submit your complaint online at www.westerncape.gov.za/police-ombudsman
 
Complaints against SANDF can be submitted to the Military Ombudsman:
Email: intake@milombud.org
Tel: 012 676 3800
Toll Free: 080 726 6283

Complaints against SAPS or the Cape Town Metro Police that relate to police misconduct can be submitted to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID):
Email: WesternCape@ipid.gov.za
Tel: 021 941 4800
Website: www.ipid.gov.za

Inefficiencies or brutality related to Law Enforcement: RichardGavin.Bosman@capetown.gov.za

If I see someone disobeying the Alert Level 4 restrictions who do I report them to?

You can call 10111 or your local police or law enforcement to report any Alert Level 4 transgressions.

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 are the goods that will be available during Alert Level 4?

See the list of permitted goods that will be available to buy during Alert Level 4 

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?

All those whose job it is to provide essential services or permitted services will be allowed to go to work.

You will also be able to operate if your business is allowed to operate during Alert Level 4.

Your employer must provide you with a permit, in writing, in the prescribed form, for you to leave your residence in order to go to work. If you do not perform an essential service or a permitted service, you must stay at home.

See the list of essential services, permitted services and businesses allowed to operate during Alert Level 4.

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 4?

Yes, you can use public transport during Alert Level 4, 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.

Public transport is permitted to operate from 05h00 to 19h00 and the driver must ensure that the drop-off is completed by 19h00.

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 sanitised 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 midibus 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 must 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 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 or a person with a close affiliation to 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 4?

Yes, you may, on a once-off basis, move residence and transport your household furniture and effects during the period of 7 May 2020 to 7 June 2020.

This is relevant to those who may have signed a new lease before or during the lockdown period or transferred property during the lockdown period. Note that you are required to obtain a permit from the station commander of a police station or a person designated by him or her. To obtain the permit you will be required to indicate the names of those who will be moving into the household and present a relevant lease agreement indicating the date of expiry of the old lease and the date of commencement of the new lease, or the transfer documents attesting to the change in place of residence or change of ownership of property.

Can I go to a government facility to visit someone during Alert Level 4?

During Alert Level 4 all health facility visitations will be cancelled, and all non-urgent operations will be postponed or cancelled.

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, pending Directions to be issued by the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, no members of the public may visit the following facilities:

  • Correctional Centres
  • Remand Detention Facilities
  • Police Holding Cells
  • Military Detention Facilities
  • Department of Social Development facilities, including Child and Youth Care Centres, shelters. One Stop Centres, and Treatment Centres, are suspended for the period of the Alert Level 4 restrictions

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

The Alert Level 4 regulations only allow for the movement of children between homes 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; and
  • 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.

Any child who was not at the residence of their primary caregiver before the lockdown period and who could not travel between provinces, metropolitan and district areas during the lockdown will be permitted, on a once -off basis, to return to the residence of their primary caregiver 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 4, but you can only do so from 06h00 to 09h00 and it must be within a 5km radius of your home.

Can I buy alcohol during the Alert Level 4?

No alcohol may be sold or transported for domestic sale during Alert Level 4.

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 4?

No, you can’t buy cigarettes during the Alert Level 4