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President Cyril Ramaphosa / Photo: GCIS

When do Level 2 changes take effect? ‘Midnight on Monday’ confuses SA

If the government picked any other phrase apart from ‘midnight on Monday’, we’d all be a little clearer – here’s when Level 2 officially starts.

latest news in South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa / Photo: GCIS

Much like celebrating a goal before a VAR check, South Africans are joyously waiting for Monday to arrive in order to make the most of our new Level 2 lockdown regulations. However, there’s an issue with timing.

When Level 2 restrictions officially begin

A lot of things are set to change at ‘midnight on Monday’, according to the speech made by Cyril Ramaphosa late on Saturday. But, as we’ve experienced before with lockdown, that phrase can prove to be problematic:

“Guided by the advice of our health experts and after consultation with provincial and local government, Cabinet has decided to place the entire country on alert Level 2, with effect from midnight on Monday 17 August 2020.”

Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africans have been left to ponder whether that means Level 2 will come into effect on Monday 17 August at 00:01, or Tuesday 18 August at 00:01. Well, allow us to put everyone out of their misery.

Monday or Tuesday: What day does Level 2 start?

Level 2 regulations will be in place from the first minute of Tuesday 18 August. The government is using ‘midnight on Monday’ to refer to Monday night, rather than overnight on Sunday. Shame guys, you really could have picked any other minute of any other day to make things less confusing…

In a series of Tweets posted by The Presidency’s account during Ramaphosa’s address, a small blue icon on their infographics reveals that the move in Alert Phases happens on Tuesday 18 August 2020:

Why does it have to wait until Tuesday?

There will have been many of our ‘fellow South Africans’ who had big plans for the bottle store on Monday. Indeed, with bars and taverns now allowed to open for the first time in five months, we were anticipating a few tactical ‘sickies’ from the barflies of our country. However, that would be a catastrophic error – and those who had a date with the drink must shift their engagements to Tuesday instead.

The decision to only implement the changes from Tuesday now gives the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) more time to draft the specifics of each law at Level 2. We expect to hear from Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and her colleagues at some point in the next 36 hours or so.