What you need to know about Lockdown Alert Level 1

President Cyril Ramaphosa once again took centre stage last night to update us on the progress being made by government to reduce the impact of the pandemic, and to announce the country’s long-awaited move down to Alert Level 1 of the national lockdown on the 21st of September 2020.

“We have withstood the coronavirus storm. Now is the time to return our country, its people and our economy to a situation that is more normal, that more resembles the lives that we were living six months ago. It is time to move to what will become our new normal for as long as the coronavirus is with us,” said Ramaphosa.

In a nutshell, here’s what will be allowed under level 1 of the lockdown, and what activities we will need to wait a little longer for.


International travel into and out of South Africa for business, leisure and other travel will once again be allowed from the 1st of October 2020.  

Note that travel to and from certain countries that have high infection rates may be restricted. A list of these countries will be posted.

 Domestic passenger flights will be allowed at these airports:

  • Bram Fischer International Airport;
  • Cape Town International Airport;
  • East London;
  • George Airport;
  • Hoedspruit Airport;
  • Kimberly Airport;
  • King Shaka International Airport;
  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport;
  • Lanseria International Airport;
  • Margate Airport;
  • Mthatha Airport;
  • OR Tambo International Airport;
  • Phalaborwa Airport;
  • Pietermaritzburg Airport;
  • Plettenberg Bay Airport
  • Polokwane Airport
  • Port Elizabeth International Airport;
  • Richards Bay Airport;
  • Sishen Airport
  • Skukuza Airport; and
  • Upington International Airport.

International travel will be allowed, but only through the main border ports or through OR Tambo International, Cape Town International, or King Shaka International airports.

Passenger ships will remain inactive.

 On another note, transport minister Fikile Mbalula announced that game drive vehicles are now permitted to carry 100% of their licensed passenger capacity.

What you’ll need:

  • All travellers will need to be tested for the virus at least 72 hours before their travel date and present a Covid-19 certificate proving that they have tested negative. Not providing this document means that you will be put into quarantine at your own cost; and
  • All travellers will be required to install the Coivd-19 alert level app before travelling.

You can learn more about the app here:


  • Gatherings will be allowed provided the number of people in attendance do not exceed 50% of the normal capacity of a venue. Overall, a maximum of 250 people will be allowed for indoor gatherings and 500 people for outdoor gatherings;
  • Maximum capacity allowed at funerals has been increased from 50 people to 100 people but night vigils are still banned though;
  • Gyms and recreational facilities have can now allow visitors to fill up to 50% of the venue’s total capacity;
  • Night clubs will remain closed.
  • Existing restrictions on sporting events will remain in place until further notice.

Other changes

  • The evening curfew will remain in place, from 00h00 to 04h00 daily;
  • Alcohol for home consumption can be sold between 09h00 – 17h00 from Monday to Friday;
  • On-site consumption of alcohol in bars and taverns will be allowed as long as patrons follow the rules of the curfew;

Further details of the Level 1 lockdown regulations will be revealed when they are gazetted in the next few days.

Watch the president’s latest announcement here



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