Lockdown Restrictions Ease | Covid-19 | 1 February 2021

After President Cyril Ramaphosa’s most recent national address on 1 February 2021, the regulations are updated. Lockdown restrictions ease, mostly thankfully to the improved number of Covid-19 new daily cases, and also the arrival of the first batch of Covid-19 vaccinations into South Africa.  Firstly, let’s look at the journey thus far.

The wedding journey during Covid-19 

Covid-19 has impacted everything about weddings in South Africa.  It’s been a gruelling almost-one-year lockdown in South Africa.  We seem to always be waiting to hear a national address for when the lockdown restrictions ease.

It’s been a roller-coaster for Engaged Couples

During level 5 and level 4 of lockdown, weddings were not permitted and home affairs were not processing marriage certificates.  Immediately thereafter, during level 3 a wedding ceremony, in the presence of the couple marrying, plus a marriage officer and two witnesses – were permitted. It was only then during level 3 that home affairs begun processing marriage certificates.

Then it got better for a while…

During level 2 lockdown, weddings in South Africa were permitted, given that it was less than 50 people.

On 16 September 2020 we all breathed a sigh of relief as the lockdown regulations had somewhat eased as we entered lockdown level 1.  The most lenient alert level 1 permitted wedding venues to operate under a 50% capacity.  This was according and depending upon the venue’s floor space. Given this, an indoor wedding venue was capped at a maximum of 250 people and an outdoor wedding venue was capped at a maximum of 500 people during level 1 lockdown. And most importantly adhering to incorporate social distancing, sanitisers and masks.

During the festive season, much stricter restrictions were instantly put in place.  The strategy was aimed to curb the spike of new daily cases and the spread of the virus during the holidays. New cases were spiking to about 20,000 new infections daily. Comparing this to current, as of 1 February 2021, new daily cases was 2548.

On 11 January 2021, further stricter restrictions came into play.  South Africa reversed further, from lockdown level 3 to harsher regulations to lockdown ‘adjusted’ level 3.  With harsher lockdown restrictions during the festive season, many engaged couples postponed their wedding. Some couples for a FOURTH time over the past almost year!

What did that mean?

During this adjusted level 3, religious marriage officers could continue to solemnise marriages – present with only the marriage officer, bride, groom and two witnesses. However it was assumed that the marriage could only be registered at Home Affairs once adjusted level 3 was lifted. Home Affairs was to focus on processing birth and death certificates, to overcome their system backlog.  So our previous article encouraged engaged couples to connect with an experienced agent, who is familiar with the current protocols and processing of marriage registrations at Home Affairs (click here to view the agent). The agent will not be able to answer on anything else, other than specifically on the processing of marriage registrations/certificates at Home Affairs.

And now?

However the most recent statistics indicate an improved recovery rate at 89% as of 31 January 2021.  President Ramaphosa affirmed that South Africa has recorded the lowest daily increase of new cases now, since the beginning of December. As of 1 February 2021, new daily cases was 2548 (comparing to the average of 20,000 during the December period).  The new infection daily rate is steadily decreasing, bringing us out of the second wave.  Hospital admissions have also decreased significantly. Good news!

Then on 1 February 2021, the President’s national address gave some hope.  Some important restrictions ease, effective immediately. 
He informed that restrictions has negatively effected businesses and should not continue, if not required.  

 First and foremost, chat to your venue to interpret their plan of action initiated, in accordance with the adjusted regulations. Each individual venue has their own independent plan of action – what works for one venue may differ for another venue.

So what now? Tell me how the lockdown restrictions ease: 

The President’s most recent national address keeps South Africa on lockdown level 3, however with eased rules and regulations:

1. Gathering sizes are adjusted: 

Certain gatherings may not exceed 50 people indoors in a venue, or 100 people at an outdoor venue. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers, then 50% of the venue size.

·         Given this, an indoor venue is capped at a maximum of 50 people (not exceeding 50% of the floor space)
·         Furthermore, an outdoor venue is capped at a maximum of 100 people

2. Curfew remains in place, now eased to 23h00 – 04h00

During the previous ‘adjusted level 3 of lockdown’, the curfew was in place from 9pm – 5am. With the curfew extension now by 3 hours, this is a great news for an agenda! President Ramaphosa said that the entertainment establishments must close by 22h00 to allow staff to return home.

3. The sale of alcohol is now permitted 

  • Sale of alcohol by licensed premises is permitted now Monday to Thursday from 10h00 to 18h00.
  • Wine and micro breweries are permitted to sell alcohol for off-site consumption.
  • The sale of alcohol for on-site consumption is permitted from 10h00 – 22h00, for example in a restaurant.

We raise our glasses for you! …And now that alcohol is again permitted…

Corona Beer | Wedding Fun | Groom | Bestman | Groomsman

Add elements to your wedding photos and memories – the Corona Wedding Gift, ideal for Groom, Bestman, Groomsmen here.

4. Tobacco can continue to be sold 

Wedding Cigar

Get Wedding Cigars Here

5. International travel continues to be permitted (subject to some travel restrictions)

This allows international guests to attend physically – not just virtually.

Subject to some restrictions:

  • Any person travelling internationally must produce a valid Covid-19 test result, which must be no older than 72 hours. If the traveler does not produce the Covid-19 test result, a possible quarantine period could evolve, and this will be at the traveller’s own cost.
  • Some travel to and from some countries could be restricted, check with your travel agent for more information.
Make sure that your wedding guests are well-informed of their individual travel regulations and requirements.

  1. 6. Face masks continue to be mandatory in public spaces

    Satin Wedding Face Masks

    Satin Wedding Face Masks

     

…and Bridal Face Masks here

7. Travel between provinces in South Africa continues to be permitted 

Guests and vendor suppliers can continue to travel nationally anywhere within South Africa.

8. Sanitising protocols continue to be applied 

Hand sanitiser stations are the new wedding trend. The hand sanitiser stands can be done up really awesome, with personalised sign boards, décor and flowers.

Some quirky corona wedding signsboards are here OR design your own personalised signboard here

'Let's party like it's 2020'

Better yet are the hand sanitiser wedding guest gift favours which we found here and also another cheaper style here. 

Social distancing will still apply, therefore consider spacing your wedding guest tables further apart. Contemplate removing 2 or 3 seats from the normal 10 seater round wedding tables. Check out of our previous articles at Blog Page for more guidance on these requirements.

Personalised Wedding Gift Favour Hand Sanitiser

Personalised Wedding Gift Favour Hand Sanitisers here

9. Beaches, public pools, parks can be reopened

And South Africa is making progress…

President Ramaphosa shared uplifting information that the first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines was received in South Africa’s OR Thambo airport on 1 February 2021. 
He informed that vaccines will now be tested to confirm that the integrity of the vaccine was maintained during transit from India.  First the vaccines will be distributed to healthcare workers to ensure their protection.   
Thereafter, phase two of the national vaccine strategy will include essential services, people over 60 years of age, and those people with comorbidity.
He iterated that nobody will be forced to take the Covid-19 vaccine, and that nobody will be excluded from travel, school or public activity if they have not had the vaccine.

In summary, Lockdown Restrictions Ease

After President Cyril Ramaphosa’s most recent national address on 1 February 2021, the updated regulations are noted. Lockdown restrictions ease, mostly thankfully to the improved number of daily new cases and also the arrival of the first batch of Covid-19 vaccinations arriving on 1 February 2021.

The journey thus far over the past year has been a roller-coaster, to say the least for engaged couples.  

 First and foremost, chat to your venue to interpret their plan of action initiated, in accordance with the adjusted regulations. Each individual venue has their own independent plan of action – what works for one venue may differ for another venue.

Although South Africa stays on alert lockdown level 3, the restrictions have somewhat eased. Improved restrictions include:  Adjusted curfew time, gathering size, alcohol sale, reopening of beaches, pools and parks. Face masks, social distancing and hand sanitisers remain mandatory – in public spaces.


There are fundamentally important changes expected of any future weddings.  Read these in this article on Wedding Tips

There’s a HUGE SALE at South Africa’s BEST online wedding shop, for Everything Needed Before, During, After Your Wedding HERE

This article will be updated in our blog as wedding information progress onwards. Watch this space! Most importantly, check into our  Blog Page for more insight into Hot Wedding Topics.

*Note from the Editor:  By no means is this article a comprehensively seamless analysis or by any means official information. However this article is merely intended to explore grounding information proposed to sober wedding indecision. This information is accurate to the date of publishing.  More information will unveil as the government releases further information.