by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa has moved to Level 3 of the coronavirus lockdown as infections ease from the peak of the third wave.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced some relaxation to the restrictions on Sunday evening, exactly four weeks after he announced the movement to Level 4.
“The overall decline in new infections means that it is possible to gradually ease some of the restrictions on gatherings, movement and the sale of alcohol,” Ramaphosa said in a televised address.
He however cautioned South Africans against complacency.
“As we ease restrictions, we must remember that infections remain high and that we need to continue to exercise caution,” Ramaphosa said.
As part of the eased restrictions, non-essential establishments like restaurants, taverns, bars and fitness centres may be opened.
These establishments will, however, need to close by 21h00 to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew, at 22h00. The curfew runs until 04h00.
Alcohol sales for off-site consumption will be permitted from 10h00 until 18h00 Monday to Thursday.
On-site facilities can trade as per licence conditions up to 20h00.
Schools will re-open from Monday (today), the morning after Ramaphosa’s address.
The president disclosed 6,3 million vaccines had been administered, with over 10 percent of the population having received a vaccine dose.
More than 240 000 vaccines are administered every week, up from around 100 000 vaccines last month.
Ramaphosa also outlined relief measures to cushion the public and business reeling from the unrest that rocked the country a fortnight ago.
Over 300 people were killed, shops looted and property worth billions vandalised.
“The impact of recent events on our economy has made the implementation of our Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan even more important,” Ramaphosa said.
South Africa has confirmed 69 775 deaths from 2 377 823 COVID-19 cases at the time of Ramaphosa’s address.
– CAJ News