South Africa moves to adjusted alert level 1. President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced that the decision was made following a meeting with the National Coronavirus Command Council, the President’s Coordinating Council, and Cabinet.
Ramaphosa said the current trends in the progression of the pandemic mean that a number of the restrictions in place can be eased. As per the department of health, SA recorded 1 678 new cases and 101 new deaths on Thursday. SA has a total of 2 902 672 positive cases with a total of 87 626 deaths.
The following measures will apply as part of Alert Level 1:
- The hours of the curfew will change, from 12 midnight to 4 am. Non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars, and fitness centres will need to close by 11 pm to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.
- The maximum number of people permitted to gather indoors will increase from 250 to 750, and the maximum number of people permitted to gather outdoors will increase from 500 to 2,000. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue may be used. This includes religious services, political events, and social gatherings, as well as restaurants, bars, taverns, and similar places.
- The maximum number of people permitted at a funeral will increase from 50 to 100.
“As before, night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed,” Ramaphosa said.
- The sale of alcohol, for both off-site and on-site consumption – will be permitted, according to normal licence provisions. However, no alcohol may be sold after 11 pm.
- The wearing of masks in public places is still mandatory, and failure to wear a mask when required remains a criminal offence.