Although no immediate change to our lockdown phase is expected this week, Cabinet will be meeting to discuss the relaxation of several rules which apply to Level 3. This further easing of the regulations has now got some South Africans talking up the chances of a move to Level 2 in the near future – but what can we expect?
Current regulations 'to change this week' – but SA will remain at the same lockdown phase for now
The transition into Level 2 from our current restrictions won't be a major leap. Moving into Level 3 at the beginning of this month brought about many 'sweeping changes', whereas our next step forward is likely to involve a few significant tweaks, rather than a complete overhaul. However, it seems moving into the next Alert Level opens up our personal freedoms.
Allowances for travel are a lot less stringent at Level 2, and it's believed that 97% of all surviving businesses go back to work at this stage. These are both major positives for an economy that's been battered and bruised.
Using information from the government's own guidelines on the lockdown phases, and weighing up recent comments from the Cabinet, we've picked out the major changes that will happen once we step out of Level 3 – even if we do have to wait a little while before moving forward again:
Level 2 lockdown – what changes in South Africa?
Private residential projects can resume construction again.
- There will be a complete lift on retail services, allowing all shops to open their doors if COVID-19 compliant.[*]All real estate activity will be permitted, relaxing current restrictions on the industry.[*]Mining and manufacturing businesses will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity, bringing everyone back to work.[*]All forms of private household workers – from domestic staff to maintenance personnel – can work again.[*]This could be the biggest fish in the pond – inter-provincial travel will be allowed at Level 2.[*]The tourism industry is set for a boost at this stage – more hotels and B&Bs will get the green light.[*]More people would be allowed to fly, but changes for the airline industry remain unspecified.[*]It's understood that some gyms and fitness centres would be allowed to open their doors for the first time during the lockdown.[*]If Jackson Mthembu gets his way, this would be the stage where cigarettes are sold again – but this remains unconfirmed.[*]Restrictions on when you can buy booze (currently only available from Monday to Thursday) get lifted.