Lockdown changes: Personal care & 'sit-down' meals at restaurants to be allowed

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday announced a further easing of coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown regulations in the country, allowing the opening of restaurants for sit-down meals, commercially licensed accommodation and personal care services, including hairdressers

"When I announced that the country would be moving to alert level 3 from the 1st of June, I said that we would be giving consideration to the reopening of other sectors of the economy if the necessary safety precautions can be put in place and maintained," Ramaphosa addressed South Africa from his Union Buildings offices in Pretoria.

"Following further discussions with industry representatives on stringent prevention protocols, and after advice from scientists and consultation with premiers, Cabinet has decided to ease restrictions on certain other economic activities."



South Africa remains at lockdown level 3, but additional sectors of our economy will now be allowed to reopen – as long as strict measures are in place to ensure physical distancing & personal hygiene. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/lyNAqCUOdv

— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) June 17, 2020

These activities include:

  1. Restaurants for 'sit-down' meals. However, consumption of alcohol in restaurants, bars, shebeens and taverns will still be restricted

  2. Accredited and licensed accommodation, with the exception of home sharing accommodation like AirBnB

  3. Conferences and meetings for business purposes and in line with restrictions on public gatherings

  4. Cinemas and theatres, to be aligned to limitations on the gathering of people

  5. Casinos

  6. Personal care services, including hairdressers and beauty services

  7. Non-contact sports such as golf, tennis, cricket and others. Contact sports will be allowed only for training and modified activities with restricted use of facilities

"The last three months have been particularly difficult for the millions of women who work as hairdressers, in spas, as therapists and technicians. Many of these businesses are owned by women and a source of income in the informal sector," said the President.

"Giving women the necessary support to become financially independent is the greatest of priorities, especially now."

The following are prohibited at Level 3 #Covid19inSA #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/IhzssY0aDB

— GCIS Media Liaison (@GCISMedia) June 17, 2020

Contact sports allowed for training

Ramaphosa said contact sports will be allowed only for training and modified activities with restricted use of facilities.

Gyms and fitness centres will still be closed.

"In each instance, specific and stringent safety requirements have been agreed on and will need to be put in place before a business can reopen, and protocols will need to be strictly adhered to for businesses to remain open," said Ramaphosa.

Dates to be announced

He said announcements will be made in due course to detail these measures and indicate the date from which these activities will be permitted.

"We have taken this decision with due care and seriousness, appreciating the risks associated with each activity and the measures needed to manage those risks. Altogether, these industries employed over 500 000 people before the lockdown. We have had to think about these people and those who depend on them for their livelihoods," said Ramaphosa.

"Through the easing of the lockdown we are continuing to balance our overriding objective of saving lives and preserving livelihoods. It is important to remember that this is a global pandemic, and that most countries are facing similar challenges and must resolve similar dilemmas. We are therefore working closely with international agencies and other countries in responding to the coronavirus."

Social distancing is one of the most powerful weapons we have to control the spread of COVID-19 until a vaccine is developed. Certain restrictions on movement must therefore remain in place to protect the health of all South Africans, especially those who are at higher risk. pic.twitter.com/wRz9NS2mo7

— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) June 17, 2020

President @CyrilRamaphosa addresses the nation on South Africa's risk-adjusted strategy to managing the spread of #CoronaVirusSA #Level3 https://t.co/W8sAT1Z4f0

— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) June 17, 2020

Containing COVID-19 is our collective responsibility. As we cautiously ease lockdown restrictions, it is vital that South Africans remain engaged, co-operate with others & observe the regulations in place to protect public health. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/aVP2gHUiSv

— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) June 17, 2020