South Africa is bracing for one of its busiest weekends of the year and threatening the Easter buzz are murmurs of Level 2 lockdown.
Easter interprovincial travel threatens Level 2 lockdown
Currently, the country has been cautiously reopened at Alert Level 1. Booze can be bought at liquor stores at normal operating hours and for the most part, social gatherings have returned.
However, the inter-provincial travel that comes with Easter could quell South Africa’s efforts to keeping Covid-19 hospitalisation figures low.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed, in a televised interview with SABC News, that talks are ongoing between the ministerial advisory committee (MAC) and the Cyril Ramaphosa-chaired National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on whether restrictions should be tightened in this festive period.
“There have been recommendations given about imposing a stricter lockdown but others are calling for some regulations to be relaxed so there is still consultation around the matter. The consultation process takes into account the advice given the ministerial advisory committee as well as the concerns of the various sectors of the economy including social, churches and business sectors,” he said.
At this time, consultations between MAC and the NCCC are considering the implications of tighter restrictions. If implemented, this would have adverse effects on the economy.
But, the central point of contention, Mkhize revealed, was around interprovincial travelling.
This is not an easy decision but something needs to be considered ahead of the long weekend, interprovincial travel and migration,” Mkhize said.
No word has been heard from the Presidency on a future ‘family meeting’. Therefore, at least for now, murmurs of a level 2 upgrade are still speculative, for the most part.
Here are the latest Covid-19 infection, death and inoculation figures, as at Wednesday 24 March 2021.
#COVID19 UPDATE: A total of 25 155 tests were conducted in the last 24 hrs, with 1 048 new cases, which represents a 4% positivity rate. A further 121 #COVID19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 52 372 to date. Read more here https://t.co/cvzhrBrXD1 pic.twitter.com/wOXLCN827u— NICD (@nicd_sa) March 24, 2021