Cabinet has placed South Africa on Adjusted Alert Level 2.
President Ramaphosa announced this in an address to the nation last night on the national effort to contain the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.
The president pointed out that a sustained increase in infections has been observed over the last four weeks.
An average of 3,745 daily new infections has occurred over the last week which represents an increase of 31 per cent on the previous week, and an increase of 66 per cent on the week before that.
“The proportion of COVID-19 tests that are positive has more than doubled in the last month from around 4 per cent to more than 11 per cent, even as we have increased testing across the country”, he said.
The president also indicated that the Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Gauteng provinces have reached the threshold of a third wave of infections and it “may only be a matter of time before the country as a whole will have entered a third wave”.
Measures in the Adjusted Alert Level 2 lockdown include:
• Curfew to start at 11pm and end at 4am;
• Non-essential establishments such as restaurants, bars and fitness centres to close by 10pm;
• Gatherings to be limited to a maximum of 100 people indoors and 250 people outdoors – venues too small to accommodate the numbers with appropriate social distancing can only use 50% of the capacity – includes religious services, political events and social gatherings, restaurants, bars and taverns.
Measures that remain in place include:
• Mandatory for every person to wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times when in public spaces;
• Owners and managers of public buildings, centres, shops, restaurants, taxis and buses all have a responsibility to ensure that people on their premises or in their vehicles wear masks;
• Positive test for COVID-19 – self-isolate at home for a period of 10 days from when symptoms first developed;
• Contact with a person who has COVID-19 – self-quarantine for a period of 10 days following exposure even if asymptomatic;
• Funerals remain restricted to no more than 100 people, and, as before, night vigils, after- funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.
In terms of the vaccination programme, the president confirmed that more than 67 per cent of public health workers have been vaccinated and, over the last two weeks, over 480,000 people have received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine as part of the public vaccination campaign.
According to the president, vaccine doses will have been administered to more than one million of the most vulnerable South Africans over the next few days.
Approximately 3 million people are currently registered on the Electronic Vaccine Data System.
The president emphasized that government is continuing to “urge all countries to support a waiver of the TRIPS agreement at the World Trade Organisation so that COVID-19 vaccines and treatments can be produced on a greater scale, at lower cost and at a faster pace”.