Alert Level 3 remains: Here are the adjustments
President Cyril Ramaphosa gripped the nation’s attention, on Monday evening, as he relayed the government’s latest efforts in fighting the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
SA Covid-19 statistics since the start of 2021
If you were oblivious and desensitized to the virus’ statistics then this set of figures announced by the president should’ve been the proverbial slap that knocked your lights back on:
Since New Year’s Day, South Africa has recorded:
- nearly 190 000 new Covid-19 infections;
- more than 4 600 deaths related to Covid-19; and
- there are currently more than 15 000 patients in hospitals nationwide, a third of which are on oxygen supply.
Ramaphosa, maintaining an eerie calm in his address, made it clear that we are in the middle of the storm and there is no telling which way the pendulum will swing.
“We do not know how much longer it will last or how much worse it will get. But we know what we need to do to weather the storm. We know what we need to do to protect ourselves and those around us. We know what we need to do – as a nation, as a continent and as a global community – to overcome this pandemic,” he said.
SA remains at Alert Level 3 with these adjustments
The president confirmed that, after consultations with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and Cabinet, he has resolved to extend Alert Level 3 until 15 February 2021, with these adjustments taking immediate effect:
- Most indoor and outdoor gatherings will not be permitted. This includes social gatherings, religious gatherings, political events, traditional council meetings and gatherings at sports grounds.
- Funerals, restaurants, museums and gyms are the only exceptions to the above.
- Funerals are capped at 50 people and strict health protocols must be adhered to.
- The hours of curfew will now start at 21:00 and end earlier, at 05:00.
- It remains compulsory for every person to wear a mask in a public space.
- The sale of alcohol from retail outlets and the on-site consumption of alcohol is still not be permitted.
- All beaches, dams, lakes, rivers, public parks and public swimming pools in hotspot areas will be closed to the public.
- Botanical gardens, national parks and other parks where access control measures and entry limitations are already in place may remain open to the public.
- 20 land ports of entry that are currently open will be closed until 15 February for general entry and departure. This includes Beitbridge, Lebombo, Maseru Bridge, Oshoek, Ficksburg and Kopfontein.
With regards to the port of entry restrictions, Ramaphosa made it clear that exceptions to this rule will include:
- the transportation of fuel, cargo and goods;
- emergency medical attention for a life-threatening condition;
- the return of South African nationals, permanent residents or persons with other valid visas;
- the departure of foreign nationals; and
- daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend school in South Africa.