Booze, beaches and curfews: Here are your festive season Covid-19 regulations

Booze, beaches and curfews: Here are your festive season Covid-19 regulations

President Cyril Ramaphosa has decided against another hard lockdown for South Africa ahead of the festive season. 

Cyril Ramaphosa declares Nelson Mandela Bay hotspot

But there are stricter regulations under level 1. 

Ramaphosa addressed the nation from the Union Buildings on Monday where he detailed the decisions made by government. 

He believes the latest amendments to regulations are a good balance between saving lives and keeping the economy alive. 

Two new hotspots have been identified, adding to the Nelson Mandela Bay.  

“Minister of Health Dr Zwelini Mkhize has visited these areas and after consultations with various stakeholders, Cabinet has decided to also declare the following two districts as coronavirus hotspot areas, and these are the Sarah Baartman districts and secondly the Garden Route district,” Ramaphosa announced.

The rest of the country was not spared. 

A new curfew will be implemented between 11pm and 4am. 

Bars and restaurants will be required to close at 10pm while retail outlets will only be allowed to sell alcohol between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday. 

“Registered wineries and wine farms may continue to offer tastings and wine sales to the public for off-site consumption over weekends. This exception is being made due to the vital contribution of these establishments to the tourism sector in several parts of the country.” 


Ramaphosa cautioned against massive parties, funerals, and the so-called ‘after tears’ parties.  

“We are taking measures to reduce the risk of super spreading events. The current restrictions on the size of gatherings do not do enough to prevent crowding in the current situation where new cases are rising rapidly,” said Ramaphosa.  

“Therefore gatherings, including religious gatherings, may not be attended by more than 100 people for indoor events and 250 for outdoor events."


Beaches have also become a cause for concern. 

Some of the country’s beaches are a tourist attraction, racking in a fortune for the local economy.  

But Ramaphosa added tighter restriction are needed to keep visitors and residents in check. 

“One of the greatest challenges we need to confront are the huge crowds that flock to our beaches and recreational parks on holidays over the festive season,” he said.


“In the areas with the highest rate of infection, beaches and public parks will be closed for the duration of the festive season from the 16th of December to the 3rd of January. This will apply specifically to all of the Eastern cape and the Garden Route district in the Western Cape.” 

KwaZulu-Natal beaches will only be closed on the traditionally busy days, including December 16 and 25 as well as the 1st and 2nd of January. 

The beaches and public parks of the Northern Cape and the Western Cape will remain open between 9am and 6pm.  

Festivals, live music, and live performances at beaches are prohibited. 

“The situation will be monitored daily by local authorities to ensure compliance with the regulations on gatherings and the prohibition of alcohol.” 

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