Return to lockdown Level 3: What will now be allowed
- South Africa moves to Adjusted Alert Level 3 lockdown amid hope that the worst of the third wave of Covid-19 may be over.
- This ends the prohibition of alcohol and sees the resumption of social gatherings, although these will be limited to a certain number of people.
- Gauteng reopens to travel after holidaymakers were banned from entering and leaving the province.
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South Africa will return to a lighter level of lockdown as the country’s third wave of Covid-19 shows signs of waning. Adjusted Alert Level 3 lockdown will come into effect on Monday, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
It’s been a month since South Africa was placed under stricter lockdown restrictions aimed at reducing Covid-19 infections and easing pressure on the healthcare system. Adjusted Alert Level 4 lockdown, which banned most social gatherings, prohibited the sale of alcohol, and restricted travel to and from Gauteng will officially end at midnight on Sunday.
“The latest figures suggest that we have largely passed the peak of the third wave of infections, although there are areas in the country where we still need to be concerned because the rates of infection have not yet shown signs of decline,” explained Ramaphosa.
The decision to ease lockdown regulations comes amid a drop in Covid-19 cases, test positivity rates, and hospitalisations. Although South Africa’s weekly caseload has dropped by almost 20%, deaths have increased by 11% over the same period.
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Gauteng, which has been the driving force behind South Africa’s third wave, is still recording the highest number of new daily infections but its active caseload has halved.
“As infections in Gauteng fall, daily new infections in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal continue to rise,” Ramaphosa said.
Here’s what President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Adjusted Alert Level 3 will look like.
Curfew starts at 22:00
Curfew will now start at 22:00 and end at 04:00. Non-essential establishments must close at 21:00 so that their employees can make it home before curfew.
Social gatherings allowed, but limited to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors
Social gatherings are allowed but will be limited to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors. This includes religious, social, political, and cultural gatherings. Attendance at funerals is limited to 50 people. Night vigils and after-funeral gatherings are still banned.
Alcohol can be sold at bottle stores and restaurants
Alcohol can be sold for on-site and off-site consumption. Licensed off-site retailers, like bottle stores and supermarkets, can only sell liquor between 10:00 and 18:00 from Monday to Thursday. On-site sales are permitted until 20:00.
Gauteng reopens to leisure travel
Gauteng is open to all types of travellers. Leisure travel in and out of the province was previously banned.
(Compiled by Luke Daniel)