During COVID-19 Lockdown Level 1 certain capacity constraints are in place.  The maximum occupancies allowed by government regulations are as follows:

Newbery Hall :           45 + 1 lecturer/instructor
Drawing Room :         20 + 1 lecturer/instructor
Alex du Toit Room :   20 + 1 lecturer/instructor
Dorothea Bleek Room (Boardroom) : 8

Procedures to be followed during lockdown

The Athenaeum has been unable to function normally since the stage 5 lockdown was implemented on 26 March 2020. However, now that we are in lockdown stage 1,   the situation is beginning to revert to normal.

Nevertheless, we must maintain social distancing.   This means inter alia that the Newbery Hall lecture theatre, which can easily accommodate 90 persons seated, may not admit audiences of more than 45 people. We must adhere strictly to this figure.

It will be necessary for people attending lectures to sanitise their hands on entry, and have their temperatures taken (non-invasively). A hands-free sanitising dispenser and an infrared thermometer (for taking one’s forehead temperature) are provided. Persons whose temperature exceeds 37.5 degrees Celsius will not be allowed into the facilities. Attendees must wear a mask at all times while inside the facilities. Chairs should be spaced to achieve the necessary 1½ metres spacing.

The organisers of lectures and meetings must keep a record of all people attending them, and of their contact details (especially telephone numbers). These details should be submitted in advance by email to if possible; but failing this, should be given to the resident manageress, Tina Birch, after the lecture.

If anyone who has attended a lecture/class in one the Athenaeum facilities has subsequently been diagnosed with Covid-19, the contact details of everyone else present at the lecture/class will be submitted to the medical authorities so that contact tracing may be undertaken and tests performed if necessary.

The official government guidelines on covid can be found here.