Restrictions on movements of people and gatherings have been eased in South Africa following a steady decline in new COVID-19 infections.
This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during an address to the nation on Sunday evening.
He announced that the country would move from Adjusted Alert Level 3 to Adjusted Alert Level 2 of the lockdown with effect from Monday, 13 September 2021.
The President said the decrease in the number of new infections across the country spurred the decision to move the country to a lower level of restrictions.
“While the third wave is not yet over, we have seen a sustained decline in infections across the country over the last few weeks.
The average number of daily new infections over the last week is 29% lower than the preceding seven days, and 48% lower than the seven days before that.
While the third wave peaked in Gauteng far earlier and declined far faster than in other provinces, there is now a marked decline across all provinces,” he said.
Ramaphosa said that after thorough consultations, cabinet had decided on the following measures for adjusted alert level 2:
- 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 to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.
- 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% of the capacity of the venue may be used.
- 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.
“The two provinces that stand out from the others are the Northern Cape and Free State, where the number of infections as a proportion of the population has remained relatively high for several months.
We are therefore focusing our efforts on these provinces to understand what is driving these infections and what measures we need to take to bring them down,” Ramaphosa said.