Following several weeks of a steady decline in the numbers of new daily infections in most provinces, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would move from an adjusted alert level 3 to adjusted alert level 2 of the national lockdown effective from Monday, 13 September.
The average number of daily new infections over the last week is 29 per cent lower than the preceding 7 days, and 48 per cent lower than the 7 days before that.
The President’s speech also covered the latest vaccination figures, as well as several other key stats related to the ongoing pandemic.
However, if you need a Tl;dr version of the speech, covering only the issues likely to affect your daily life in the coming weeks, here they are:
- 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. This is 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 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used. This includes religious services, political events and social gatherings, as well as restaurants, bars, taverns and similar places.
- 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. Alcohol consumption remains prohibited in public spaces.
While there are several changes, some measures also remain in place. These are:
- Wearing masks in public remains manadatory. Masks must always covers your nose and mouth when in public, and it remains a criminal offence not to do so. It is the responsibility of shop and restaurant managers as well as drivers of taxis and buses to ensure that customers wear masks, and maintain all distancing measures.
- Funerals remain restricted to no more than 50 people, and, night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.