President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that South Africa, will proceed to lockdown level 3 at midnight on Monday 28 December.
All indoor and outdoor gatherings, except funerals, will be prohibited for the next 14 days.
The curfew will be adjusted from 21:00 to 06:00 and all non-essential establishments like bars and restaurants must be closed by 20:00.
The sale of alcoholic beverages has also been banned and nightclubs and bars which sell alcohol will not be allowed to operate during the whole time.
As part of the new rules not wearing a mask will now be considered a criminal offense and people who don't wear masks in public can be arrested.
Until now the owners and managers of shops and public buildings, employers, and operators of public transport have had a legal responsibility to ensure that everyone within their premises or transport is wearing a mask.
“But given the grave danger our country now faces, the adjusted level 3 regulations will make every individual legally responsible for wearing a mask in public,” Ramaphosa said.
From now on it is mandatory for every person to wear a mask on public premises.
“A person who does not wear a cloth mask covering over the nose and mouth in a public place will be committing an offense,” he said.
A person who does not wear a mask can be arrested and prosecuted.
On conviction, they may have to pay a fine or face imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both a fine and imprisonment.
“This is a drastic measure but is now necessary to ensure compliance with the most basic of preventative measures,” said the South African President.