As the country prepares to move lockdown Level 2 from Monday midnight, President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned the nation about celebrating too soon.
On Saturday night, the President announced that the country would move from lockdown Level 3 to lockdown level 2 due to the drop in the new COVID-19 confirmed cases.
“We are still very much in the middle of a deadly pandemic that has taken more than 11 000 lives in South Africa alone. At more than half a million confirmed cases, we still have the fifth highest number of infections in the world. And there is always a chance of a resurgence of the disease,” says the President in his weekly newsletter.
The President says more attention will now be given to developing the country’s economy which has been hard-hit by the pandemic.
The announcement by the President has been widely welcomed by South Africans.
Ramaphosa has warned the country that government will not hesitate to re-impose strict lockdown regulations if the resurgence of the disease occurs.
Some countries that have eased their lockdown restrictions have seen a resurgence of the deadly virus, and subsequently forced a reintroduction of the lockdown.
“If we ever need a stark reminder of the need for vigilance, we should look to recent events thousands of kilometres away in New Zealand. Three months since the country was declared coronavirus-free, New Zealand is once again under lockdown. Although the latest outbreak was of relatively few cases, the government swiftly re-imposed lockdown restrictions,” explains the President.
The President says the country’s success rests on our ability to abide by these regulations and to ensure that we behave carefully and responsibly.
“Every time we are considering any form of non-essential activity, we should ask: what is the risk of infection to ourselves and to others? Where there is a risk, even a slight one, it is better not to do it.”
Opening economic activity
President Ramaphosa has made the following changes as the country moves to Level 2, which allows for more economic activities.
Inter-provincial travel will be permitted. However, restrictions on international travel remain in place.
Accommodation, hospitality venues and tours will be permitted in approved protocols to ensure social distancing.
Restaurants, bars and taverns will be permitted to operate under approved protocols.
Restrictions on the sale of tobacco will be lifted.
Ban on sale of alcohol lifted.
Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 10pm.
Restrictions on family and social visits will also be lifted.