President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last night that beaches in the Eastern Cape and Garden Route will be closed for the holiday season.
This includes the popular holiday destinations of Jeffreys Bay and St Francis Bay.
“Beaches and public parks will be closed for the duration of the festive season from 16 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
This will apply to all of the Eastern Cape, as well as to the Garden Route district in the Western Cape,” said Ramaphosa.
In KwaZulu-Natal, beaches and public parks will be closed on what are traditionally the busiest days of the season.
These days are the 16th, 25th, 26th and 31st of December 2020 and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of January 2021.
The beaches and public parks of the Northern Cape and the Western Cape – with the exception of the Garden Route – will remain open to the public over the festive season.
Festivals, live music, and live performances at beaches are prohibited.
Beaches and parks that are open to the public will only be open between 9am and 6pm.
“The situation will be monitored daily by local authorities to ensure compliance with the regulations on gatherings and the prohibition of alcohol.
“In instances, where there are large crowds or poor compliance with safety measures, specific beaches and recreational parks will be closed,” he said.
To reduce super-spreader events, the curfew is adjusted, starting at 11pm and ending at 4am.
Non-essential establishments, including restaurants and bars, will have to close at 10pm so that staff and patrons can get home before the enforcement of the curfew.
“The curfew is meant to prevent gatherings that go on late into the night, while enabling restaurants, bars and taverns to continue to operate and earn an income.”
Hours of curfew will also apply to Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
“This means that we will all need to make changes to the way in which we celebrate these occasions.”
Restriction on alcohol sales
The sale of alcohol from retail outlets will only be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday.
Registered wineries and wine farms may continue to offer tastings and wine sales to the public for off-site consumption over weekends.
“This exception is being made due to the vital contribution of these establishments to the tourism sector in several parts of the country,” said the President.
Alcohol consumption in all public spaces, such as beaches and parks, is strictly forbidden.
Sarah Baartmaan and Garden Route districts
In further tightening control on areas with a sharp rise in infections, the President declared the Sarah Baartmaan and Garden Route Districts as ‘hotspot areas’.
“This all means that the same additional restrictions that we applied to Nelson Mandela Bay will apply in these districts from midnight tonight and will continue until we see a clear and sustained decline in infections,” said the President.
These festive season restrictions will be reviewed in early January based on the state of the pandemic across the country.