There was an audible sigh of relief in homes around South Africa on Saturday evening when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the country would be moving to level 2 of lockdown with effect from today.
It’s been a difficult five months since a State of National Disaster was declared by the President in March and lockdown restrictions were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
For parents, it’s been a particularly hard road. For many who have welcomed new babies, they’ve had to travel a lonely journey without the support of close family and friends. For others, it’s been the reality of caring for their kids 24/7 while trying to make ends meet by working from home.
But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re all rejoicing with the chance to get out more and interact with friends and family again (and to have a glass of wine, too.)
Here’s how the new level 2 regulations impact you and your kids:
- Hooray! If you welcomed a new baby to the world since the start of lockdown restrictions, the move to level 2 means close family and friends will finally get to meet your little one in person. We’re sure grannies and grandpas, aunties and uncles everywhere are making plans to visit as we speak. Just be sure to insist they wear cloth masks and that they sanitize their hands before and after holding your baby.
- Lockdown has been hard for parents, but it’s also been stressful – and lonely – for our little ones who haven’t been able to play with other kids their age. The relaxation of restrictions means you’ll now be able to organise supervised play dates – and even a small party – with other little ones. This can be either at your home, where up to 10 people are allowed to gather, or even better if you need to get out too, an outside play venue which can accommodate up to 50 people at a time provided they follow all the necessary health protocols.
- For co-parents who’ve been struggling to navigate around travel restrictions, especially if you’re living in different provinces, the lifting of inter-provincial travel means little ones can move from house to house anywhere in the country without any hassle or headaches to be reunited with their loved ones.
- Of course, the lifting of inter-provincial travel also means you can finally pack your bags, bundle up your little one and take him on that family holiday to the bush, or the beach, you’ve been dreaming about these past months. You can also just hop in the car and visit relatives and friends in other provinces – or they can visit you, no permits required!
- As from today, you can take your baby or toddler to any park or beach for an outing. You can also plan an outing to the zoo, the library, a museum or even to the movies (provided you’ve bought a ticket beforehand). The golden rule, of course, is to ensure you encourage your little one (over the age of 3) to wear a mask in public and to sanitize their hands regularly. (Tip: keep a supply of wet wipes and hand sanitizer in your bag to wipe hands and surfaces at a moment’s notice.)
Content editor and writer on Living & Loving, Sonya has over 25 years experience in the media industry. She edited Living & Loving magazine for six-and-a-half years and is the former editor of Longevity magazine. She’s won numerous media industry awards and is passionate about the health and wellbeing of moms and children.
Outside of work, she enjoys trying out recipes, reading crime mysteries and thrillers, practicing yoga, and exploring new destinations.
Learn more about Sonya Naudé.