President Eases Lockdown Restrictions And Curfew

The President stepped up to our screens and delivered his usual address to the nation. This time, six months into Lockdown, we saw a move to Level 1 and easing of a lot of restrictions moving closer and closer to the new normal Post-Covid. 

President Ramaphosa announced many different regulations being eased, including the curfew. From social gathering capacities to international travel, lots of changes are being made to the regulations as we see Government opening more parts of the economy.

“Following consultations with provincial and local government representatives, and drawing on the advice of scientists and engagements with various stakeholders, Cabinet decided this morning that the country should move to alert level 1," said the President. 

Ramaphosa also announced many changes to lockdown regulations.

The curfew will be changed to be between midnight and 4am.

The sale of alcohol will be permitted from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. On site consumption of alcohol is permitted with strict adherence to curfew.

Social, religious, political and other gatherings will now be permitted with 50% of the normal capacity of the venue or facility having to be observed. A maximum of 250 people is allowed for indoor gatherings and a maximum of 500 for outdoor gatherings. Health protocols must be strictly observed.

Funerals are allowed to continue with a maximum of 100 people, which was originally 50. This, the President says, is  due to the higher risk of viral transmission at funerals. Night vigils are still not permitted.

Venues for exercise, recreation, entertainment such as cinemas, theatres and gyms may operate with a maximum of 50% of the venue's capacity as determined by available floor space. Existing restrictions on sporting events remain in place. 

As for international travel, Ramaphosa announced that they will be gradually and cautiosly be easing these restrictions. Travel in and out of South Africa for business and leisure will be permitted from 1 October. The following restrictions are to be observed when it comes to international travel:

  • Travel will be restricted to and from countries with high infection rates. This list of countries will be published soon.
  • You are only able to use one of the land border posts made operational or from the three main airports: King Shaka International Airport, Cape Town International Airport or OR Tambo International Airport. 
  • Should you want to travel internationally, you will need to be negative for Covid with the test result being from less than 72 hours of departure. If you don't have a test, a mandatory quarantine will be required
  • Travellers will screened on arrival. Should they present with symptoms, they will be required to remain in quarantine until a repeat test is done.
  • All travellers must have the Covid Alert SA app

The President said, “We are ready to open our doors again to the world, and invite travellers to enjoy our mountains, our beaches, our vibrant cities and our wildlife game parks in safety and confidence" as we see the tourism sector open up more. The tourism sector is one of our greatest economic drivers, explained Ramaphosa.

In preparation for the re-opening of our borders, South African missions abroad will open for visa applications and all long-term visas will be reinstated.  

There are several remaining restrictions that can only be enacted through disaster regulations as the country announced earlier this week that it has extended the national state of disaster by a month to 15 October 2020. 

The President stated that it may be some time for it to be safe and capable for all sectors to return to full operation

"Global and domestic demand and supply of goods and services for some sectors will remain low for the foreseeable future, regardless of the lifting of restrictions. It is therefore vital that we move with urgency to rebuild our economy, restore growth and create jobs"

The worst of the pandemic is behind us and a second wave would disrupt our lives and livelihoods, said the President. He then goes on to say that we need to ensure that this does not happen.

South Africans are now being encouraged to learn to live alongside the coronavirus and to know that the last six months have been difficult for all of us.

Related Article:

Ramaphosa Announces Lockdown Level 1


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