Be aware: Permitted travel hours during Level 4 have been shortened
Our Level 4 lockdown just got a little more strict: Here are the new operating hours South Africans are being asked to follow on the roads.
If there’s one thing our government has enjoyed doing during Level 4 of lockdown, it is flexing their muscle. Despite allowing citizens the chance to travel across provincial borders on a one-off basis this week, it seems transport minister Fikile Mbalula is tightening his grip on these regulations once more.
Officially announced by his department on Wednesday, the permitted hours for travelling via public transport have been cut short. Furthermore, a ‘grace period’ outside of the curfew laws – which allowed buses, trains and taxis an extra hour to complete journeys – seems to have completely disappeared.
New travel restrictions in place for South Africans
The amendments were published, and they now boil down to the following:
- Public transport can only operate from 5:00 – 19:00. These vehicles were previously allowed to run until 20:00.
- All drop-offs must be completed by 19:00, eradicating the last hour before curfew and the grace period before 21:00.
- Interestingly enough, private vehicles will be allowed to travel until 20:00 – but no ‘grace period’ applies here, either.
- The nationwide curfew remains in place from 20:00 – 5:00 each night under Level 4 of lockdown.
Level 4 and lockdown curfew
South Africans will still be allowed to travel between 19:00 – 20:00 if they are not reliant on public services. However, the 60-minute window shouldn’t serve as a challenge. The earlier you can get out and about, the better. The newly-gazetted amendments add even more rigidity to the tough-talking National Disaster Act.
The nine-hour curfew period is designed to help limit the workload for the police and our emergency services. Citizens can be arrested and even face criminal charges should they decide to roam outside during this time.
Now, it’s not highly likely you will find yourself in any of these situations, but South Africans can technically travel after the 20:00 deadline. If there is a medical emergency that desperately requires attention, or an individual is making essential travel for work purposes and you possess a permit, you can travel at night.