As part of COVID-19 lockdown regulations to combat the deadly Coronavirus pandemic, South Africa has switched from adjusted alert level 4 to alert level 3.
During his address to the nation on Sunday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the move was the result of measures implemented in the past 28 days.
As a result, he said that South Africans continue to adhere to basic medical precautions, which has reduced infection rates.
“The number of daily new infections decreased by about 20% over the past week to about 12,000 per day. Gauteng, which has been the epicentre of the third wave of infections, has steadily decreased in recent weeks, “President Ramaphosa said.
While infections in Gauteng are declining, daily new infections in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal are increasing, owing to the Delta strain, he added, citing the worrying surge in infections in the Northern Cape after a period of relative stability.
On Sunday afternoon, the cabinet recommended moving the country from Adjusted Alert Level 4 to Adjusted Alert Level 3 based on input from the President’s Coordinating Council and the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19.
According to the President, the recommendations became effective Sunday on night after the regulations were gazetted.
The adjusted Level 3 entails: The curfew hours will remain the same, starting at 10 p.m. and ending at 4 a.m.
People who wish to travel inter-provincially for leisure may resume their activities.
Restaurants, taverns, bars, and fitness centres may be opened as non-essential businesses.
These businesses must close by 9 p.m. to allow their staff and customers to get home before the curfew begins.
Gatherings will be allowed but will be limited to a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
If the venue is too small to handle these people while maintaining proper social distance, no more than 50% of the venue’s capacity may be used.
Gatherings can be anything from religious services to political events and social gatherings.
Restaurants, gyms, fitness centres, bars, taverns, and similar establishments are also subject to venue capacity restrictions.
Funerals and cremations can only have 50 people in attendance, and all social distancing and health norms must be followed, while night vigils and after-funeral gatherings are still prohibited.
Alcohol sales for off-site consumption will be permitted from Monday to Thursday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., while sales of alcohol for on-site consumption are permitted up until 8 p.m., but license restrictions apply.
Following strict health protocols and other measures announced by the Minister of Basic Education, schools will reopen tomorrow, Monday, July 26.
When in public places, it is still obligatory for everyone to wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times.
It should be the obligation of the owners and operators of public buildings, centres, stores, restaurants, taxis, and buses to guarantee that people on their premises or in their vehicles are wearing masks.
They must also make certain that the necessary social distancing measures are in place and followed.
It’s vital to note that having more people on these premises than the maximum number of consumers or staff authorised is illegal.
President Ramaphosa has urged South Africans not to loosen restrictions, saying we must keep in mind that infection rates are still high, and we must continue to be cautious.