SA tightens lockdown, restricts booze sales

Capitalk Reporter |  1 year ago | international

JOHANNESBURG. – President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a move to a stricter lockdown level as Covid-19 coronavirus cases continue to rise exponentially.

Lockdown Level 3 came into effect from on Tuesday evening. The president’s address to the nation on Tuesday evening came nearly a week after the country officially entered the third Covid-19 wave.

In the past week, 57 016 new Covid-19 cases have been recorded, as Gauteng continues to drive the third wave recording the highest number of new infections. 

The country entered adjusted Level 2 lockdown at the end of May in an effort to keep the third wave at bay. 

Ramaphosa said that while he understood citizens’ concern about how stricter regulations restrict one’s freedom to gather, worship, travel and earn a living, failing to implement the necessary measures to curb the spread of the virus increased the risk of “losing control of the virus”. 

“We also know that these restrictions have been effective in containing the virus,” he said. South Africa has now been under various levels of lockdown for 15 months since it entered lockdown in March 2020. 

“We still have a mountain to climb,” Ramaphosa stressed. Gauteng is expected to exceed the numbers recorded during the second Covid-19 wave, with private hospitals in the province reporting that they are near capacity.“Within a matter of days it is likely that the number of new cases in Gauteng will surpass the week of the second wave,” said Ramaphosa. 

The president added that this calls for decisive action. “We must act quickly to save lives.” 

Alcohol sales from retail outlets have been restricted to Monday to Thursday between 10am and 6pm. To observe the new curfew, on-site consumption is not allowed at licensed establishments after 9pm. Public places, including bars and restaurants, need to close by 9pm. 

Curfew has been amended and will be in place between 10pm and 4am. Gatherings have been limited to no more than 50 people inside and 100 outside with adequate social distancing measures.

Funerals continue to be capped at two hours with no night vigils or post-funeral gatherings allowed. –