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Ramaphosa Outlines Developments in Response to Coronavirus COVID-19

February 2, 2021

The Presidency

The hours of the curfew will now be from 11pm to 4am.

President Ramaphosa announced this during an address to the nation last night on developments in response to Coronavirus Covid-19.

The president confirmed that the average rate of new infections has been steadily decreasing over the last three weeks and the peak of the second wave has been passed.

“In the past seven days, the daily average of new infections was around 5,500, compared to just over 10,000 infections in the previous seven days”, he said.

Hospital admissions have also been falling.

The president declared that, following a clear decline in new infections, hospital admissions and deaths, cabinet decided to ease certain restrictions imposed under adjusted alert level 3.

Other changes to restrictions include:

• Establishments to close by 10pm to allow customers and staff to return home by start of curfew;
• Faith-based gatherings to be permitted – not to exceed 50 people for indoor venues and 100 persons for outdoor venues;
• Public places such as beaches, dams, rivers, parks and public swimming pools to be reopened subject to health protocols;
• Restrictions on the sale of alcohol to be eased;
• Sale of alcohol by licensed premises for off-site consumption to be permitted from Mondays to Thursdays – 10am to 6pm;
• Duty-free shops, registered wineries, wine farms, micro-breweries and micro-distilleries to be able to sell alcohol for off-site consumption during normal licensed operating hours;
• Sale of alcohol by licensed premises for on-site consumption to be permitted throughout the week from 10am to 10pm;

The president pointed out that, despite the clear progress we have made, the “number of new cases is still high and there is an ever-present danger of a resurgence”.

Therefore, it is necessary to maintain South Africa on alert level 3 due to the continued high risk of transmission.

Several prevention measures will remain in place including social gatherings, political events, traditional council meetings and gatherings at sports grounds not permitted; no more than 50 people at funerals with social distancing, hand sanitising and mask wearing in place and wearing masks in public remains compulsory.

As regards vaccines, the president confirmed that approximately 40 million doses have been secured with the first 1 million doses from the Serum Institute of India arriving yesterday.

The president indicated that government aims to make the vaccine available to all adults living in South Africa, regardless of citizenship or residence status.

The president stressed, however, that no one will be forced to take the vaccine.

“Nobody will be forbidden from travelling, from enrolling at school, or from taking part in any public activity if they have not been vaccinated”, he said.

“Nobody will be given this vaccine against their will, nor will the vaccine be administered in secret”, he added.