CYRIL RAMAPHOSA PUTS SA INTO ‘ADJUSTED LEVEL 3 RESTRICTIONS’
The alterations come just 24 hours after South Africa breached the ‘one million cases’ mark, as more than 9 500 infections were chalked up on Sunday. In the past month, transmission rates have skyrocketed, propelling the second wave of COVID-19 in Mzansi. A new strain of the disease has also driven the accelerated spread.
Several mitigations have been implemented so far. Hot-spot areas have been declared in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape. The hours of alcohol sales have been restricted, as restaurants and bars were then asked to close earlier. Curbs were also placed on mass gatherings – but these measures haven’t been enough to contain the virus.
NEW LOCKDOWN CHANGES FOR SOUTH AFRICA ON MONDAY 28 DECEMBER
The president wearily confirmed that stronger interventions were now needed. South Africa will head into 2021 still hamstrung by the devastating effects of COVID-19, and things look likely to get worse before they get any better. Here are all the changes to the new Level 3 lockdown rules, as revealed by Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday.
- All indoor and outdoor gatherings are prohibited for the next 14 days, barring funerals, restaurants, gyms, and others.
- Alcohol sales from retails outlets and onsite usage is prohibited.
- At Level 3, funerals may not be attended by more than 50 people.
- All businesses must operate at limited capacity, to accommodate social distancing.
- The nationwide curfew will now be extended from 21:00 – 6:00.
- Non-essential venues – such as restaurants, and shops – must close at 20:00.
- Individuals are now required to wear a mask on a compulsory basis in public – any offenders will be committing an offence, and could face further prosecution including a fine or even imprisonment (for no longer than six months).
LEVEL 3: WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19?
We are still months away from a mass rollout of vaccinations, which have long promised to be the end-game for this pandemic. Light may be at the end of the tunnel, but it is a stubbornly long way from where we are right now. And an amended version of Level 3 restrictions will take us into January.
For the foreseeable future, lockdowns and the strict adherence to COVID-19 health protocols remain our only available interventions that can stop the spread of the virus. Factors like complacency, fatigue, and a cavalier attitude shown by some citizens towards the pandemic have also been highlighted as ‘serious areas of concern’.
It seems we will start the new year how we lived this year: In fear on a resilient, relentless, invisible enemy…
- Level 3 regulations will be in place until 15 January 2021