Following meetings of the National Coronavirus Command Council and the President’s Coordinating Council, Cabinet has decided to move South Africa from Adjusted Alert Level 2 to Adjusted Alert Level 1 from midnight tonight.
This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during an address to the nation on Thursday evening.
The President said that a few days ago, the South African COVID-19 Modelling Consortium confirmed that South Africa has emerged from a third wave of COVID-19 infections.
“In the last seven days, the average number of new cases was at around 1 800 a day. There are also sustained decreases in COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths in all provinces. This is news that is welcome to all of us,” President Ramaphosa said.
The President said the current trends in the progression of the pandemic mean that a number of the restrictions in place can be eased, as per the recommendations of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19.
The following measures will apply as part of adjusted Alert Level 1:
- The hours of the curfew will change, from 12 midnight to 4 am.
- Non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres will need to close by 11 pm to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.
- The maximum number of people permitted to gather indoors will increase from 250 to 750, and the maximum number of people permitted to gather outdoors will increase from 500 to 2 000.
- Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used. This includes religious services, political events and social gatherings, as well as restaurants, bars, taverns and similar places.
- The maximum number of people permitted at a funeral will increase from 50 to 100. As before, night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.
- The sale of alcohol – for both off-site and on-site consumption – will be permitted, according to normal licence provisions. However, no alcohol may be sold after 11 pm.
The wearing of masks in public places is still mandatory, and failure to wear a mask when required remains a criminal offence.