In his address to the nation on Sunday, September 12, President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared that the country will move to Alert lockdown level 2.
Leading up to this announcement, the president said the recommendations have been discussed at the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and with Premiers, mayors and traditional leaders in the President’s Coordinating Council.
“They have also been discussed with the leaders of political parties represented in Parliament and with religious organisations,” he said.
The president also confirmed that due to the decline of infections across all provinces, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 recommended an easing of restrictions on the movement of people and gatherings.
President Ramaphosa said that the hours of curfew will now start at 11pm and end at 4am.
“Non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres will need to close by 10pm. This is to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew,” he said.
The sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption will be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Friday.
Alcohol sales for on-site consumption will be permitted as per licence conditions up to 10pm.
Alcohol consumption remains prohibited in public spaces.
Other regulations include: Funerals remain restricted to no more than 50 people, and, as before, night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.
All gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors.
“Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used,” the president explained.
This regulations applies to all religious services, political events and social gatherings, as well as restaurants, bars, taverns and similar places.
President Ramaphosa confirmed that these measures will be reviewed in two weeks time depending on the state of the pandemic.
Wearing of masks is still mandatory in all public spaces.
The president confirmed that it is a criminal offense not to wear a mask and has called to venue owners and transport service providers to enforce this.
Digital vaccine IDs to be made
Ramaphosa announced that the government will soon be providing further information on an approach to ‘vaccine passports’, which can be used as evidence of vaccination for various purposes and events.
The Health minister announced that digital vaccine certificates will be issued to inoculated citizens.
Currently, close to 15 million vaccines have been administered thus far.