What does lockdown Level 1 mean for parents and families

President Cyril Ramaphosa announces a move to Level 1. Picture: The Citizen

As things go back to the ‘new normal’, here are some important things parents should note.

Effective Sunday, 20 September 2020, South Africa will be moving to lockdown Level 1 of what has been a five-month journey. The president addressed the nation yesterday evening, informing them of what “our new normal” will be.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced some key changes that will be made to restrictions as we move to Level 1, stating that “now, with the further progress, we have made as infections have come down further, we are now ready for a new phase in our response to the pandemic”.

So, which of these will have a direct impact on parents?

Travel restrictions

International travel has been strictly prohibited since the implementation of the lockdown in March. Borders have been closed and many people had to cancel their scheduled trips.

So, it is time to get those bikinis out and get ready to see the world again. From 1 October, international travel will be allowed, and some borders will be open, and three airports will be operational: OR Tambo International, King Shaka Airport, and Cape Town International airport.

After being in lockdown for so long, the kids are probably equally eager to see anything than the walls of the houses and visit friends and family abroad.

Also Read5 fun destinations for you and the kids this festive season


Many parents have been uneasy about hosting playdates, group sleepovers, birthday, and celebratory parties due to the restrictions on gatherings. Effective midnight on Sunday, those restrictions have been loosened, and people can gather at a 50% capacity of the total accommodation amount.

Religious gatherings are also permitted under Level 1, and they will adhere to the above requirements as well. Therefore, families can go to their respective places of worship like they used to before the Covid-19 hit.

People will still need to abide by social distancing regulations and ensure that they wear a mask when around others. As the president says “by any measure, we are still in the midst of a deadly epidemic”.

ALSO READ: The guidelines for children wearing masks

Alcohol sales

Some households require more than the average amount of wine, depending on the child’s level of energy, obedience, and curiosity. For those who have regarded alcohol as an essential item, you will be happy to know that you do not have to rush to the stores on Thursday to stock up.

Now, you can do it on a Friday afternoon until 5pm. The current Level 2 regulation states that alcohol sales for home consumption can only be made from Monday until Thursday.

The curfew has also been moved from 10pm to 12am until 4am. Those who decide to consume alcohol outside their homes will have to adhere to this regulation.

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