President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended South Africa’s adjusted Level 4 lockdown for another 14 days – with restrictions expected to remain in place until 25 July.
Ramaphosa said during his address to the nation on Sunday that the last 2 weeks of restrictions have been necessary for curbing the third wave of COVID-19 infections currently gripping the country and to stimy the uncontrolled COVID-19 Delta variant.
“Our health system countrywide remains under pressure. By next week, daily hospital admissions across the country are likely to reach the levels observed during the peak of the first two waves. COVID-19 related deaths in hospitals are also increasing, and have surpassed those observed at the peak of the first wave,” the President said about the damage caused by the third wave.
Ramaphosa continued to say that, while Gauteng is still the epicentre of the third wave, other provinces are seeing surges in cases with the countrywide healthcare system straining under the renewed pressure.
Western Cape, Limpopo, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga are all seeing increased case load, he said.
The President continued to say that, as a result of this, and after consultation with Cabinet and the government of the provinces, South Africa will remain at adjusted alert level 4 for a subsequent 14 days.
Restrictions still in place include:
- The evening curfew remains in place from 21h00 – 04h00, and only those with permission to do so may leave their homes during this time.
- All social, religious, and political gatherings remain prohibited.
- Schools will remain closed until 26 July.
- The sale of alcohol remains prohibited.
- It remains mandatory to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth whenever you are in public.
However, the President has made the following adjustments to the Level 4 regulations:
- Restaurants and eateries will be able to operate while observing strict health protocols. Such establishments may not accommodate more than 50 people at a time or, for smaller venues, more than 50 per cent of their normal capacity.
- Certain other venues, such as gyms and fitness centres, may also open
- Activities such as agricultural livestock and game auctions will be allowed, subject to the conditions outlined in regulations.
Ramaphosa also said that Cabinet has decided that all business licenses and permits that expired between March 2020 and June 2021 will remain valid until 31 December 2022.
South Africa currently has over 208,000 active cases, with more than 4,200 South Africans succumbing to the illness in the last 2 weeks. There have been over 4-million vaccine doses administered in the country.