COVID-19 Lockdown: Level 3 Explained

South Africa will be following a phased approach to ending lockdown. Here’s what you need to know about Level 3.

Lockdown Level 3 advanced

The regulations surrounding Level 3 were advanced to include more economic activity, however not all of the new regulations have been announced. Keep an eye on this blog post for further updates pertaining to specific industries. 

The information below was correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is best to check regulations with the official relevant department if you are unsure. 

Who may trade during Level 3 of the lockdown?


South Africa has moved to advanced level 3 of lockdown, ostensibly because the government is fast running out of relief funds, and desperately needs to revive the economy to save livelihoods. The latest discovery of a breakthrough COVID treatment has also eased some of the collective panic around opening up for business. 

On a personal note, we are still not allowed to gather for social reasons but curfew has been lifted and evictions are still prohibited. Public exercise is now allowed all day, but still not in groups. School are staggered to reopen for all grades by August, with adjusted school terms for 2021, and universities may operate at 33% capacity. 

Sectors permitted

All economic activity is allowed, except for:

  • Tobacco (including vapes and vaping products),
  • Gyms and fitness centres, 
  • No sporting events with live spectators present. 
  • Liquor sales are only permitted from Monday to Thursday, between 9am and 5pm. 

Easing of regulations:

1. Personal Care Services allowed: (from Friday 19 June)

  • Hairdressing & Barbering
  • Nail and toe treatment
  • Facial treatment and make-up
  • Body massage
  • Tattooing and piercings

2. Restaurants, street food vendors and informal eateries for sit-down meals (delivery & collection still allowed as per usual)

  • Sale of alcohol for on-site consumption is still prohibited

3. All accommodation (for both work and leisure) 

4. Conferences and business meetings

  • No more than 50 people present, following social distancing and wearing masks at all times.

5. Cinemas and theatres

  • No more than 50 people present, following social distancing and wearing masks at all times.

6. Casinos

  • No more than 50 people present, following social distancing and wearing masks

7. Non-contact sports (golf, cricket, tennis and others)

8. Contact sport training only

  • Modified activities and restricted facilities (details to be announced)

9. Funerals & Religious gatherings

  • No more than 50 people present, following social distancing and wearing masks

10. SANParks, tourist destinations and game reserves

  • Only for self-drive excursions

Transport restrictions

All public and private forms of transport are allowed, subject to directions.

Movement restrictions

No movement of people between metros, districts, or provinces – except for business purposes. No international travel, for either leisure or work. No restrictions on interprovincial movement of goods. 

What precautions should be taken?

All workplaces:

Social distancing:
Maintain 1.5m between staff and customers; demarcate safe spacing where possible; install physical barriers where 1.5m separation is not possible (subject to specific sectoral regulations).

Basic Hygiene & Sanitizer:
Businesses must make provision for regular hand washing/ sanitizing stations, and regularly sanitize all surfaces, paying close attention to high-touch zones.

All businesses must supply regulation face masks for employees (and ensure their proper laundering or disposal), plus any other protective gear as required by their industry recommendations (like visors, aprons or gloves). 

Employee screening is mandatory, and safe protocols for assisting those at risk must be established. Here’s a helpful video to help monitor for symptoms.

Industry specific precautions for Level 3

Due to the expanse of economic activity under Level 3, it is important for business owners to consider their unique industries and circumstances when taking precautions to protect staff and customers. While the official precautions for each industry are still being gazetted, small business owners are encouraged to be proactive in their measures. 


Restaurateurs around the country are waiting with baited breath for the final regulations to be published, although careful hygiene is not a new challenge for this industry. In the meantime, many are choosing to prepare for some likely requirements. For example, social distancing will mean 1.5m between customers, and 1m between customers who are dining together. Only single-serving sauces and condiments may be available, and drinks/food must be placed on the tabe, never passed by hand. Menus should be displayed on menu boards, or be replaced (and sanitized) between diners. 

Personal Care Services 

Social distancing: If 1.5m cannot be created between stations, physical clear barriers or partitions must be installed. No scalp, neck, shoulder, or arm massages allowed at the basin for hairdressers, no unnecessary touching in general, no food or beverage amenities, and no guests (only the client being serviced). Minimize the time spent interacting with customers where possible. Restricting walk-ins is highly recommended.

PPE: Full face-protection gear must be provided for close face-to-face contact, and must be sanitized between customers. Aprons must be changed (and laundered) between serving each client. Tattoo parlours must use nitrile gloves, not latex. 

Hygiene: Particular care must be taken with cleaning and sanitizing basins between each use, as well as enforcing a full deep clean of the premises at the beginning and end of each day. Each station must be thoroughly disinfected between clients, making sure to sanitize all bottles, products, equipment and surfaces. Find all the detailed instructions in the full gazette here.

Hotels and Accommodation

Details and reopening dates will still be gazetted, but predictions include restrictions on capacity, mandatory time between room occupancies to allow for proper decontamination, no paper magazines, no more minibars rather individually packaged portions of sealed snacks and drinks (with hygienically sealed cutlery on request). Lifts, pools and any special facilities or common recreation areas will be carefully limited, and room decor will be kept to a minimum. 


Specific regulations and dates for reopen have not yet been published, but already industry leaders are making preparations: chips will have a rigorous sanitizing regimen; only every second seat at slot machines and betting tables will be open for use; clear barriers will be erected in areas where proper social distancing is problematic; and strict health screening systems (before entry) will have to be put in place. 

Cinemas and Theatres

This is yet another group of businesses waiting for gazetted details, however large theatre groups have already braced themselves for fewer screenings/shows per day, staggering customer entry, limiting capacity, and implementing intensive sanitizing procedures for a plethora of high-touch spots in their environment (from door handles, to ticket counters and arm rests).

Public Transport

All forms of public transport must remain at 50% capacity, except for minibus taxis which are allowed 70%. Strict sanitizing in between trips with all passengers wearing face masks at all times. The Metrorail will be reopening on 1 July. 

Is your business reopening under the advanced Level 3 regulations?

Connect with us in the comments below with any questions or concerns you might have, and we will update the blog with relevant information as it is published by the relevant government department. 

Share post to Social Media:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email

More Reading

A vector image on the popup for a Yoco newsletter.

Join over 80 000 business owners

Get the latest relevant news and tips on making your business a success delivered to your inbox weekly.