level 2 covid-19

Level 2: SA tightens restrictions amid COVID-19 surge

Andile Sicetsha - 31.05.2021

Level 2 is in effect. Wearing a mask in public and adhering to social distancing can delay what could be a devastating third wave.

President Cyril Ramaphosa hauled South Africa into a family meeting on Sunday, where he announced the return of Alert Level 2.

Level 2 lockdown: What are the rules?

Following a week of speculation largely driven by a number of consultations between the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) and Cabinet, Ramaphosa delivered the news we were all expecting.

“Over the last seven days, we have seen an average of 3 745 daily new infections. This is an increase of 31 percent on the previous week and an increase of 66 percent 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. We are advised that a positivity rate of over 5 percent is a cause for concern,” the president announced.

Under Level 2, these are the new changes to restrictions, effective from Monday 31 May 2021:

  • a curfew will be imposed from 11:00 to 04:00;
  • restaurants and bars will close at 22:00;
  • gatherings will be limited to 100 indoors and 250 people outdoors; and
  • funerals are restricted to 100 people.

South Africa reacts to tight restrictions

Ramaphosa warned that the high COVID-19 positivity rate could be a signal for a third wave that could be devastating. According to scientists, “the third wave will be determined by the amount of contact each of us has with other people.”

These were some of the reactions from social media, shortly after the news was announced: