South African head of state and president Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that lockdown restrictions in Mzansi will be relaxed, with the country moving to COVID-19 alert level 1.

In his national address on Sunday evening 28 February, Ramaphosa announced that the lockdown level of the country will be reduced in line with the decline in COVID-19 cases.

Ramaphosa said that the country has now clearly emerged from the second wave, with fewer than 10,000 new infections in the past week, compared to 40,000 in the last week of January and 90,000 in the last week of December.

“This coming Friday will mark exactly one year since the first case of coronavirus was recorded in our country,” Ramaphosa adds.

Hed adds, “since then more than 1.5 million people in SA have been infected and nearly 50,000 of our people have been reported to have died from the disease.”

“In the week that has just passed, the country recorded just under 10,000 new infections,” he stated.

As a result of this, lockdown restrictions across the country will be eased, including the following:

  • The hours of curfew will now be from 00:00 until 04:00.
  • Gatherings will be permitted subject to limitations on size and health protocols, including religious, social, political, and cultural gatherings.
  • The maximum number of people allowed for gatherings are 100 people for indoor venues and 250 people for outdoor venues.
  • The sale of alcohol will be permitted according to normal licence permissions, but no alcohol may be sold during the hours of curfew.
  • The wearing of masks remains compulsory.
  • Five airports will be open for international travel: OR Tambo, Cape Town, King Shaka, Kruger Mpumalanga, and Lanseria International airports.
  • Night vigils or other gatherings before or after funerals remain prohibited.
  • Night clubs will remain closed.

Ramaphosa stressed the importance of continuing to practice prevention measures and social distancing to ensure South Africa can defeat the pandemic and accelerate its economic recovery.

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