Skip to main content

Here are South Africa’s new lockdown regulations – including the rules around masks

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published a directive which outline South Africa’s new lockdown rules.

The directive comes after president Cyril Ramaphosa announced the reintroduction of new lockdown restrictions on Sunday evening (12 July), as the country faces a surge in coronavirus cases.

“The storm is upon us,” the president said. “More than a quarter of a million South Africans have been infected with coronavirus, and we know that many more infections have gone undetected.”

“The coronavirus storm is far fiercer and more destructive than any we have known before. It is stretching our resources and our resolve to their limits.”

President Ramaphosa said that the surge of infections that experts and scientists predicted over three months ago has now arrived. According to current projections, each of our provinces will reach the peak of infections at different times between the end of July and late September, he said.

“We are focusing on a number of priority actions in the coming weeks,” he said.

You can read the updated lockdown rules below. Alternatively, you can read the full directive here.


The wearing of a cloth face mask, a homemade item, or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth is mandatory for every person when in a public place.

In addition, if not wearing a mask, no person will be allowed to:

  • Use, operate, perform any service on any form of public transport;
  • Enter or be in a building, place or premises, including government buildings, places or premises, used by the public to obtain goods or services; or
  • Be in any public open space.

The above does not apply to a person who undertakes ‘vigorous exercise’ in a public place, provided that the person maintains a distance of at least three metres from any other person, and subject to directions on what is considered to be ‘vigorous’ by the Health minister.

Inline with existing regulations, an employer must provide every employee with a cloth face mask, homemade item, or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth, when in the workplace.

In addition, an employer may not allow any employee to perform any duties or enter the employment premises if the employee is not wearing an appropriate item.

Public transport drivers, managers, owners of buildings, and employers who do not enforce the above regulations will be liable to either a fine or six months imprisonment or both.

Curfew and liquor 

Every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 21h00 until 04h00 daily, except where a person has been granted a permit.

The sale, dispensing and distribution of liquor is now also prohibited with immediate effect.

The transportation of liquor is prohibited, except where the transportation of liquor is:

  • In relation to alcohol required for industries producing hand sanitizers, disinfectants, soap or alcohol for industrial use and household cleaning products;
  • For export purposes; or
  • From manufacturing plants to storage facilities.

The directive also states that no special or events liquor licenses may be considered for approval during the duration of the national state of disaster.


The directive states that bus and taxi services may operate under the following conditions:

  • They may not carry more than 70% of the licensed capacity for long-distance intra- provincial and permitted inter-provincial travel;
  • They may carry 100% of the licensed capacity for any trip not regarded as long-distance travel.

The directive defines long-distance travel as a  trip of 200 km or more whether the travel is within a province or interprovincial.

A driver, owner or operator of public transport may not allow any member of the public not wearing a cloth face mask, homemade item, or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth, to board or be conveyed in public transport owned or operated by him or her.

Cigarettes and tobacco 

The directive states that:

  • The sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products to members of the public and to persons including retailers who sell directly to the members of the public, is prohibited;
  • The sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products for export, is permitted;
  • The sale of tobacco from farmers to local processors or local manufacturers, and from processors to manufacturers, is permitted.

Read: Ramaphosa announces new lockdown restrictions for South Africa – including an immediate ban on alcohol sales