South Africa’s lockdown level may drop soon — including relaxed alcohol restrictions

Health minister Joe Phaahla has said that his department might recommend that government relax its lockdown restrictions in the coming weeks.

This depends on whether the number of new Covid–19 cases in South Africa continues to decline and “good cooperation” from the public, the minister said.

Speaking during his visit to Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein, Phaahla said that he would be reporting to the National Coronavirus Command Council in two weeks, where the decision will be made.

Phaahla said that the curfew might be further relaxed to start at midnight instead of 23:00.

He also said that liquor stores might be allowed to operate on Saturdays “if we all behave”.

According to the latest statistics from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the current surge in Covid–19 infections seems to be showing signs of a sustained downward trend.

Yesterday the NICD reported 4,215 new Covid–19 cases, representing a 9.3% positivity rate.

The National Department of Health reported that there were 311 Covid–19 related deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, bringing total fatalities to 85,779 to date.

South Africa administered 220,450 Covid–19 vaccine doses yesterday, bringing the total to 15,583,797 doses.

A total of 7,734,069 people have been fully vaccinated, comprised of 3,417,321 Johnson & Johnson vaccines and 4,316,748 individuals who have received two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine.

Now read: Good news for Sinovac Covid–19 vaccine manufacturing in South Africa

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South Africa’s lockdown level may drop soon — including relaxed alcohol restrictions