President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Sunday evening nearly two weeks since his last address when he announced level 3 lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. South Africa has now been moved to an adjusted level 4 lockdown.
Level 4 lockdown
He announced that the country would be placed on adjusted alert level 4 effective from Monday for the next 14 days. Monday, 28 June to Sunday 12 July. The curfew will run from 9pm to 4am, much more stringent than some expected.
Cases have rapidly increased since the last adjusted restrictions, with Gauteng being the epicentre, recording most daily Covid-19 cases in the third wave.
Professor Tulio D’Oliveira confirmed on Saturday the Delta variant first found in India – known as B.1.617.2 – is fast becoming the dominant strain in South Africa. The president confirmed that the variant is highly transmissible, this wave may be worse than the previous two, and could last longer.
Level 4 adjustments as of Monday, 28 June
- Alcohol sales on-site or off-site consumption is now prohibited for 14 days
- All gatherings are prohibited these include social, religious and political. Restaurants and other eateries may only serve food for takeaway or delivery. No sit-ins.
- School holidays will begin from Wednesday (30 June), all schools expected to be closed by Friday.
- Curfew now starts at 9pm, and ends at 4am.
- Non-essential establishments are required to close by 8pm.
- Gauteng provincial travel for leisure is prohibited. Travel is only permitted for work, transporting goods, funerals or to return home. Travelling between other provinces is allowed.
- Funeral services have been limited to 50 people indoors. No night vigils or post-funeral gatherings are permitted.
- Public spaces such as beaches will remain open.
The Ramaphosa provided an update on the vaccination rollout. Over 480, 000 healthcare workers and over 2.2 million members of the public have received vaccines as part of Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout
Registration dates for those aged 50 and above will be announced soon.
To read the president’s full speech, read below:
Fellow South Africans, Our former President Nelson Mandela once wrote:
“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way.
“But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb”.
As a country, we have faced two devastating waves of coronavirus infections.
We have overcome these by responding swiftly and decisively, and by acting together to contain the spread of the virus and protect ourselves, our families and our communities. We now face another great challenge, another hill to climb.
Twelve days ago, I addressed you to warn that a new and deadly third wave of infections had begun in a number of our provinces, and was spreading. The average number of daily new infections was more than doubling, hospital admissions were rising, and deaths from Covid-19 were increasing by nearly 50 per cent. As I address you this evening, the situation has gotten worse.
Along with many other countries in Africa, South Africa is seeing a massive resurgence of infections. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a third wave of the disease is underway on the continent.
To date, African Union Member States have reported over 5.2 million cases and over 138,000 deaths from COVID-19.
The Covid-19 virus that descended on our country in March last year has been continuing to mutate, creating new variants.
Our scientists tell us that Covid-19 virus has many variants. Last year, we experienced the Beta variant.
In addition, we now have the Delta variant.
This variant was first detected in India at the end of March this year, and is now found in 85 countries.
The Delta variant spread like wildfire in India in an alarming manner. The Delta variant has now been detected in five of our provinces, namely the Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape.