On 11 March 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. At that time it had already spread to 110 countries in the world and more than 118 000 people had contracted the illness. Because of the highly contagious virus many countries went into a form of lockdown in 2020 – to buy time to equip their healthcare systems to handle this new disease and also to contain the spread of the virus.

At present, there are over 134 million confirmed coronavirus cases across the world and over 2.9 million deaths, according to WHO.

Currently vaccines are being administered globally, but COVID-19 is still ever present, resulting in continued safety measures in many nations. It’s been just over a year since COVID-19 rocked the world. We take a look at what’s allowed and what isn’t during lockdown in some parts of the world.

South Africa

South Africa is currently on lockdown alert level one, meaning most day-to-day activities can resume, with precautions and health guidelines followed at all times.

A mask, covering the nose and mouth, must be worn in all public places and a safe physical distance between people is a requirement.

Domestic business and leisure travel is allowed.

International travel to and from South Africa is allowed subject to screening for COVID -19 and quarantine or isolation.

A curfew between midnight and 04:00 is in place.

Nightclubs remain closed.

Vaccine rollout

More than 280 000 doses have been administered to healthcare workers so far. Read more about the vaccine rollout plan.

United States

Indoor dining is currently allowed at 35% capacity. It will be allowed at 50% capacity starting on March 19.

Bars and restaurants should close at 11PM.

Domestic travel is allowed but with restrictions. As of 1 April, travelers will not be required to quarantine.

Museums and attractions are open and adhere to capacity rules.

Sports arenas allowed to operate at 10% capacity.

Non-essential retail is allowed.

Travel from Brazil, China, the European Schengen Area, Iran, Ireland, South Africa and the United Kingdom is not permitted.

Vaccine rollout

Over 6 million doses have been administered.

United Kingdom

Public parks are open for picnics.

Beaches and public playing grounds (for children) are open subject to limited number of people meeting.

Arrivals to UK are subject to a 10-day quarantine.

Leisure travel is not allowed.

Outdoor sports venues as well as indoor gyms and sports facilities remain closed.

Leaving home for nonessential reasons is advised against.

Vaccine rollout

More than 25 million doses have been administered.


Restrictions in Germany are being lifted gradually.

Nonessential stores, museums and other facilities are open on a limited basis in regions where infection rates are low.

Domestic travel is allowed but citizens are advised not to take unnecessary leisure trips.

Travel from South Africa is not permitted until 14 April and would be extended if necessary.

Vaccine rollout

More than 8 million doses have been administered.

New Zealand

New Zealand has been hailed for its management of the spread of COVID-19. The country is on lockdown alert level 1, which means face covering are compulsory on all forms of public transport, including domestic flights.

New Zealand’s borders are closed to almost all travellers. However, if you’re a New Zealand citizen or resident you have a legal right to to enter the country.

Residents or citizens returning to New Zealand must complete 14 days of isolation or quarantine and will also be tested for COVID-19 during their stay in the quarantine facility.

From 18 April, people can travel quarantine-free between Australia and New Zealand.

Vaccine rollout

More than 90 000 vaccines have been administered.