From Monday 1 March, South Africa will ease restrictions on curfew, alcohol sales and gathering, as it moves to Alert Level 1.


PRETORIA-In his address to the nation on Sunday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the country has now clearly emerged from the second wave, with fewer than 10,000 new infections in the past week, compared to 40,000 in the last week of January and 90,000 in the last week of December.

This has allowed a new easing of regulations, including:

Shorter curfew

Curfew, across the country, is now from midnight to 04:00. Apart from permitted workers, no person may be outside their place of residence during this time.

Booze sales

All of the current restrictions on alcohol sales are lifted, and normal trade will be allowed – except for sales during curfew hours, which won’t be allowed.

Night clubs will remain closed

Gatherings permitted

Religious, social, political and cultural meetings will be allowed, provided that people can stay at least 1.5 metres away from each other, and that other health protocols are also adhered to.

Indoor gatherings may not exceed 50% of venue capacity, and may allow up to a maximum of 100 people.

Outdoor gatherings may also not exceed 50% of venue capacity, but can allow up to a maximum 250 people.


Night vigils or other gatherings before or after funerals are still not permitted.


The new Level 1 rules do not change anything in terms of borders. The 33 land borders that are closed will stay closed, while the twenty open borders will remain open.

The five airports that are permitted to allow international travel remain OR Tambo, Cape Town, King Shaka, Kruger Mpumalanga and Lanseria airports.

Failure to wear a mask remains a criminal offence.

The wearing of masks in public places is still mandatory

Vaccination progress

Ramaphosa said more than 67,000 health workers were vaccinated in 10 days. As a new batch of the 80,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines arrived in the country this weekend, the number of vaccination sites will increase from 17 to 49 sites next week.  Of these, 32 will be in public hospitals, and 17 in private hospitals.

He expects that phase two of the vaccination drive – which will include the elderly, essential workers, those with comorbidities and those who work and live in institutional settings – will start in late April.

He added that two million people now use the Covid-19 alert app

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