In an address to the nation tonight, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that South Africa’s Covid-19 coronavirus risk-adjusted strategy will move to level one – allowing most economic activities to resume as normal as possible.
In his speech, President Ramaphosa said that the country has ‘withstood the storm’ in its fight against the coronavirus and that the data shows a clear downward trend in the country and that changes to the strategy could now be made – reminding citizens that “By any measure we are still in the midst of a deadly epidemic”.
Now, as the number of Covid-19 infections continues to decline, the president said that the country will move to lockdown level 1 from midnight on Sunday (taking effect at midnight, or 00h01 on Monday), with restrictions eased in the following areas:
- Gatherings will be allowed as long as the number of people do not exceed 50% of the normal capacity of a venue – up to a maximum of 250 people for indoor gatherings and 500 people for outdoor gatherings;
- Maximum capacity at funerals has been increased to 100 people;
- Night vigils are still prohibited;
- Venues such as gyms and recreational facilities have had limits increased to 50% of total capacity;
- Existing restrictions on sporting events remain in place.
- The government will gradually ease restrictions on international travel for business and leisure from 1 October – subject to containment measures. A list of permitted countries will be published and based on the latest scientific data;
- International travel will only be allowed through the main border ports or through OR Tambo International, Cape Town International, or King Shaka International;
- Travellers will need to provide a negative coronavirus certificate or will be put into quarantine at their own cost;
- All travellers will be required to install the Coivd-19 alert level app.
- The evening curfew will apply between 00h00 and 04h00;
- Alcohol for home consumption can be sold between 09h00 – 17h00 from Monday to Friday;
- On-site consumption will be allowed subject to adherence to the curfew;
- More government facilities will return.
In his address, Ramaphosa said that these changes will see South Africa entering its ‘new normal’ and that updated restrictions will be gazetted over the next few days, providing more clarity.