Covid-19 National State of Disaster extended

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15 Sep 2021

The Covid-19 national state of disaster has been extended until 15 October 2021.

The cooperative governance department announced the extension in Government Gazette 45155.

The national state of disaster to combat Covid-19 was first declared in March 2020 in terms of the Disaster Management Act.

The act stipulates that a national state of disaster lapses after three months.

However, section 27(5)(c) of the act empowers the cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister to extend the state of disaster for one month at a time.

According to the extension notice, the extension takes into account the “need to continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of state to address the impact of the disaster”.

Meanwhile, amended Disaster Management Act Regulations have been published in Gazette 45156.

A new Chapter 5 on Adjusted Alert Level 2 is inserted.

Adjustments to restrictions include:

  • Curfew in place from 11pm until 4am;
  • Non-essential establishments such as restaurants, bars and fitness centres to close by 10pm to allow employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew;
  • All gatherings to be limited to a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors – no more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue to be used if too small to accommodate the adjusted numbers with appropriate social distancing;
  • Sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Friday; and
  • Alcohol sales for on-site consumption permitted as per licence conditions up to 10pm.

Measures that remain in place include the mandatory wearing of face masks in public; funerals restricted to no more than 50 people; night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings not allowed and night clubs remain closed.

The amended Regulations will be reviewed and amended where necessary after two weeks of the date of publication.

In Notice 868, the department determined that the Adjusted Alert Level 2 will apply nationally from 13 September 2021.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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