President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country is being moved to adjusted level 3 of lockdown with immediate effect from midnight tonight. New regulations will be put in place as well.
Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Monday evening on South Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several Level 3 restrictions are being strengthened and are as follows:
- Curfew from 9PM until 6AM
- All indoor and outdoor gatherings will be prohibited for 14 days, except for funerals and other limited exceptions (restaurants, gyms, casinos, etc.)
- Funerals can only have 50 people in attendance
- Businesses must determine the maximum number of people allowed and may not exceed that limit
- Non-essential establishments (shops, restaurants, bars, cultural venues, etc.) must close at 8PM
- Not wearing your mask outdoors is now considered a crime
- Alcohol sales from retail outlets and on-site consumption is not allowed
- All beaches, rivers, public parks and public swimming pools in hotspot areas will be closed
New regulations will stay in place until 15 January.
Businesses may continue to operate as long as safety measures are undertaken.
Trauma cases are increasing and filling up hospitals due to alcohol consumption. Ramaphosa said that since regulations were relaxed, trauma cases increased which puts a strain on healthcare facilities which are already close to full capacity in a number of provinces.
Provinces are working to prepare more beds and ventilators for the second wave while healthcare workers struggle under the strain of the second wave with some also being infected themselves.
"Frontline workers are at greater risk than before"
The new variant of Covid-19 which was discovered has been studied as it apears that it's more contagious than the virus that drove the first wave and super spreader events are spreading the virus.
More than 50 000 new cases were reported since Christmas eve with majority of them emerging from Kwazulu-Natal, Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape. Infections are on the rise in Limpopo as well. This is due to our need to socialise with one another and visit each other, says the President.
"This is a time of heightened danger in the face of a rising global pandemic," said Ramaphosa.
As the new year approaches, South Africans passed the mark of one million Covid cases in the country as COVID-19 cases now stand at 1 004 413. 29 494 new tests were conducted since the last report. Recoveries have increased to 844 874 with a recovery rate of 84,1%. Deaths however have also risen in number, 26 735 COVID-19 related deaths in total.