South Africa has moved to adjusted level 2 lockdown from Monday, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who made the announcement last evening during a nationwide broadcast.
The relaxation of lockdown regulations comes as South Africa has seen a steady decline in its third wave of COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks. The third wave had been especially difficult for SA.
Buoyed by the Delta variant of COVID-19 that wreaked havoc across India a few months prior, this third wave saw the country’s medical services once again pushed to the brink and forced the government to put the country under adjusted lockdown level 4 to aid in curbing the variant’s rampant spread.
Adjusted lockdown level 2 comes with a host of relaxed restrictions, namely:
- Curfew now begins at 11 PM and ends at 4 AM.
- All gatherings are limited to a maximum of 250 people indoors, as well as 500 people outdoors. Venues too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing must adhere to filling only up to 50% capacity.
- The sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption is now permitted between 10 AM to 6 PM from Monday to Friday.
- Alcohol sales for on-site consumption, such as for bars, taverns, and restaurants, are now permitted until 10 PM to allow employees time to get home before the curfew begins.
The President says that the restrictions will once again be reviewed after a 2 weeks period and may be heightened or lowered depending on the state of the pandemic in South Africa.
He also says that more information will be given about the so-called vaccine passports, which can be used to show proof of vaccination for various purposes and events, in the coming weeks.
However, with the newly relaxed restrictions, Ramaphosa made it clear that there are many activities still restricted under adjusted lockdown level 2. Many of these restrictions have been outlined in a government gazette published on Sunday.
Watch: President Ramaphosa’s full speech from Sunday evening below.
Restrictions still in place under adjusted level 2:
- South Africa’s land borders remain closed, except for certain border posts.
- Attendance of any sporting event by spectators is still prohibited.
- Night club attendance remains prohibited.
- Funerals are still restricted to 50 individuals. Night vigils, after-funeral gatherings, and ‘after tears’ gatherings are not allowed.
- The use of passenger ships for international leisure purposes like cruises is still prohibited, excluding small crafts.