New South African regulations for funerals during COVID-19

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New regulations governing who may attend a funeral under the Coronavirus-enforced lockdown have been put in place by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta). 

Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has gazetted further amendments to the regulations on the COVID-19 lockdown in order to flatten the infection curve. 

The amendments allow certain individuals to move between provinces, metropolitan and district areas for the purposes of transporting a body for burial purposes. 

The amendment also limits the individuals who are permitted to travel to funerals. 

The regulations now outline a process on how people — who wish to travel between provinces or metropolitan and district areas to attend a burial or cremation — can obtain a permit. 

Only the following people, who live outside a province or metropolitan and district areas, may attend a funeral:
spouse or partner of the deceased;
children of the deceased, whether biological, adopted or stepchildren. 
children-in-law of the deceased;
parents of the deceased – whether biological, adopted or stepparents;
siblings, whether biological, adopted or stepbrother or sister of the deceased;
grandparents of the deceased; and
persons closely affiliated to the deceased. 

The current prohibition of 50 persons attending a funeral is still in effect. The holding of night vigils is still prohibited. 

The permit may be obtained from a Magistrate or a station commander of a police station or a person designated by him or her. 

In order to obtain a permit a Magistrate, who is the head of the office or a station commander of a police station or a person designated by him or her, must be provided with a death certificate or a certified copy of a death certificate. 

A permit holder may stay at a hotel, lodge or guesthouse for the duration of the funeral or cremation. The permit must be presented to the owner or manager of the hotel, lodge or guesthouse.

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