South Africa has moved to Alert Level 3 Lockdown.
President Ramaphosa announced this last night during an address to the nation on South Africa’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The president confirmed that the country is experiencing a third wave of infections that needs to be contained.
Over the past two weeks, the average number of daily new infections has doubled.
An average of 7,500 daily infections have been recorded over the last seven days.
Hospital admissions are up and the “average number of people who die from COVID-19 each day has increased by 48 per cent from 535 two weeks ago to 791 in the past seven days”.
The positivity rate for Covid-19 tests is continuing to rise in Gauteng, Limpopo, Western Cape, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal with Gauteng the worst hit, accounting for nearly two-thirds of new cases measured over the last week.
The president declared that the county needs to return to the basics in order to save lives.
Alert Level 3 measures include:
• Curfew to start at 10pm and end at 4am;
• Non-essential establishments such as restaurants, bars and fitness centres to close by 9pm to allow employees and patrons to travel home before the curfew;
• All gatherings to be limited to a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 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.
• Attendance at funerals and cremations may not exceed 50 people and all social distancing and health protocols must be observed;
• Night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed;
• The sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption will only be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday;
• Alcohol sales for on-site consumption will be permitted as per licence conditions up to 9pm;
• Alcohol consumption in all public spaces, such as beaches and parks, is strictly forbidden; and
• Mandatory to wear a face mask in public.
In terms of the vaccine roll-out, the president announced that Johnson & Johnson is expected to deliver around 2 million vaccines to South Africa by the end of the month to be used to vaccinate teachers followed by security personnel.
The immediate priority is to complete the vaccination of all those over 60 years of age without delay.