Breaking: Curfew hours shortened for South Africa

South Africa's lockdown restrictions have been eased ever so slightly on Thursday, after Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane confirmed that the nighttime curfew hours would be shortened.

It was also revealed that intra-provincial travel will be allowed for citizens going forward: Individuals will now be permitted to leave their homes for leisure purposes within the province where they currently live, but they cannot cross into a different one. For example, if you live in the Western Cape, you can only travel within the Western Cape.

New curfew hours for South Africa

According to the Cabinet member, the total length of curfew will now be six hours a night, rather than seven:

  1. Curfew in South Africa will now be in force from 22:00 to 4:00 every single night.

  2. This is now one hour shorter than the previous curfew, which started at 21:00.[*]The move, according to the tourism minister, is to allow restaurants an extra hour of service to customers.

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane explains latest lockdown law changes

The motivation behind the decision is to help restaurants serve more customers, allowing them to generate more revenue. Although the Restaurant Association of South Africa (Rasa) has asked for much more leniency – including special permission to sell alcohol – this is about as far as the government is willing to go:

"Cabinet has agreed to move the curfew to start at 22:00 to allow for uninterrupted dinner service at restaurants. We believe that this change will go a long way towards increasing their revenue generation. The sale of alcohol remains prohibited, however."
"Many businesses are at risk and many jobs have already been lost. However, we are doing everything we can to ensure that the impact is minimized. The fluctuating risk of the virus spread has dictated that we pace ourselves in our efforts to reopen the sector."Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane