President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Level 4 Lockdown tough measures on Sunday in an attempt to contain the Delta, COVID-19 third wave, which has spread faster than the previous two flare-ups.
Delta, the first COVID-19 variant discovered in India, is rapidly spreading in some countries and could ultimately become the dominant virus strain worldwide, including in South Africa.
“In this third wave, the peak appears to be higher than the previous two. The first wave lasted 15 weeks and was followed by a second one that lasted nine weeks. We do not know how long this one will last, but it appears to be longer,” said President Ramaphosa.
The Delta variation has now been found in five of South Africa’s provinces, the Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape.
According to our research, the Delta variety is rapidly displacing the Beta variety, which was previously prevalent in our country, said President Ramaphosa.
In a bid to contain the virus, Ramaphosa announced that the sale of alcohol for use on-site and off-site will be banned as of Monday. Health authorities will assess the impact of these interventions after 14 days to determine whether they need to be maintained or adjusted.
Ramaphosa explained that the advisory group considered the current alcohol restrictions ineffective, and that prohibition would reduce hospital strains associated with alcohol-related emergencies.
“Alcohol has an impact since we continue to accept invitations to parties and social gatherings while also hosting our own events. “”Complacency has a high price.”
He said these restrictions include a ban on religious, political, cultural, and social gatherings, both inside and outside.
Despite the fact that burials and cremations are permitted, there must be no more than 50 attendees, and all social and health regulations must be followed.
Night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.
Public spaces, such as beaches and parks, will remain open. However, no gatherings will be permitted.
A curfew will be in place from 9pm to 4am, and all non-essential establishments will need to close by 8pm.
Since Gauteng is highly infected, travel in and out of the province is prohibited. Work, business, or commercial travel, transit through airports, or the movement of commodities are not included.
Schools will begin to shut down on June 30, with the final day of school for most on Friday.
The last day of lecturers at tertiary institutions will be June 30, after which there will only be limited access to facilities, while residences will remain open.
In addition, the ministers of Basic and Higher Education as well as Science and Innovation will provide more details about these arrangements.
In the current situation, the government is attempting to prevent the viral spread while maintaining as much economic activity as possible.
“The majority of businesses will continue to operate at full capacity and will be unaffected,” he said. “Our top priority is to keep the economy healthy while minimising interactions.”
Whenever people go into a public place, they should always wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth.
“It’s a criminal offence not to comply. ”
The President reiterated that it is the responsibility of building owners, businesses, shops, restaurants, taxis, and buses to guarantee that their customers and passengers wear masks.
“Wherever practicable, all employers should allow their employees to work from home, and any non-essential travel and workplace events should be postponed,” Ramaphosa added.