Lockdown: SA moves to Level 1 as govt set to introduce vaccine certificates

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  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved the country to adjusted Level 1 lockdown.
  • The government will also implement a vaccine certificate.
  • Among the new regulations are larger gatherings and the sale of alcohol until 23:00.  

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday evening the country will move to adjusted Level 1 lockdown, starting at midnight.

He also said the government would also be implementing a vaccine certificate.

READ | Lockdown: Alcohol sales almost normal, restaurants and bars get extended hours

"The current trends in the progression of the pandemic mean that a number of the restrictions in place can be eased, as per the recommendations of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19," Ramaphosa added in his national address.

This means the following regulations will be in place:
  • The curfew will be from 00:00 to 04:00.
  • Non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres will need to close by 23:00 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% of the venue's capacity 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.
  • 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 23:00.
  • The wearing of masks in public places is still mandatory, and failure to wear a mask when required remains a criminal offence.
  • Ramaphosa said as part of the effort to return the most-affected parts of the economy to operation, the government was looking at the further relaxation of restrictions, particularly with respect to sporting and cultural events.

"The Department of Health will soon be rolling out a vaccination certificate, which will provide a secure and verifiable proof of vaccination.

"It can be used to facilitate travel, access to establishments and gatherings and other forms of activity that require proof of vaccination status."

FULL SPEECH | Ramaphosa moves SA to lockdown Level 1

He added this approach was informed by World Health Organisation's guidelines and aligns with international best practices.

"Streamlining and standardising proof of vaccination will also go a long way towards getting a number of international travel restrictions both from and into our country eased."

Protect

Ramaphosa again urged South Africans to get vaccinated, saying it was not only to protect themselves and those around them, but also to prevent the emergence of new variants.

"However, we should remember that even if we are vaccinated, we need to continue to adhere to the basic precautions to limit the spread of the virus from one person to another.

"We know that indoor gatherings, particularly in places that have poor ventilation, are the major cause of outbreaks and superspreader events.

"We must continue wearing our masks at all times when in public, keep our distance from others and always ensure that windows are open and that there is a flow of fresh air.

"If we continue to adhere to these regulations, if we keep the rate of infections low, and most importantly if we vaccinate significant numbers of the adult population, we will keep the pandemic at bay and eventually force it into decline," he added.


If you come across Covid-19 vaccination information that you do not trust, read Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here. If you can't find the facts you're looking for, email us at the address mentioned in the article and we will verify the information with medical professionals.

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