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Level 3 regulations a ‘fit response’ to get South Africans moving again

From running in circles around their homes to unlimited exercise in the great outdoors…fitness fanatics had reason to rejoice in President Cyril Ramaphosa address to the nation on Sunday evening.


Photo: Adobe Stock

Runners, walkers and cyclists who have already been “exercising” their rights under the nationwide lockdown’s Level 4 regulations, will be able to head out for exercise at any time during the day when Level 3 kicks off on 1 June.

However, to adhere to social distancing rules, it still cannot be performed in groups or organised clubs and gyms and fitness centres will remain closed.

Public parks and beaches, however, would be open for the purpose of exercise only.

Exercise: Level 4 vs Level 3

Under Level 4, which came into effect on 1 May, daily outdoor exercise was limited to a three-hour window from 06:00 and 09:00, within a 5km radius from home.

At the time, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Lamola argued that the “exercise curfew” was put in place to assist South African Police Service (SAPS) members in monitoring the situation.

“If the regulations allow jogging for the whole day, it means that for the whole day police will have to monitor people exercising. But, if there is a prescribed time, they can deal with the issues they are supposed to deal with during the rest of the day.”

Coronavirus hotspots

Ramaphosa has spent much of the last week in consultations with political parties, business, trade unions, healthcare experts and interfaith communities about the country’s predicted move to Level 3 to determine government’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of COVID-19.

The president also met with Cabinet, the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCC) and the President’s Coordinating Council to navigate the gradual easing of the lockdown.

In his address to the nation on Sunday 24 May, the president confirmed that Level 3 would be implemented from 1 June. However, he cautioned that Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Ethekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City and Cape Town have been identified as “coronavirus hotspots” and will be subjected to various enhanced measures to control the rate of infections.

Night-time curfew lifted

Some more good news from the podium was that the Level 4-imposed evening curfew — by which South Africans have been confined to their place of residence between 20:00 and 05:00 — will be lifted under Level 3.