South Africa to ease level 1 lockdown rules

Speaking in an address to the nation on 11 November 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would ease certain level 1 lockdown rules.

He noted, however, that there is a continued risk of a COVID-19 resurgence in the country, and announced various interventions in COVID-19 hotspots to combat this risk.

“The only way forward is a rapid and sustained economic recovery. We are working to restore the economy to full operation,” Ramaphosa said.

“We are amending the alert level 1 regulations to restore normal trading hours for businesses, for instance, for the sale of alcohol and retail outlets.”

The country will also be opening up international travel to all countries subject to international health protocols and the presentation of a negative COVID-19 certificate.

“We recognise that some industries are still not able to operate fully and that it will take some time for many jobs to return,” Ramaphosa said.

He said that even as restrictions on the sale of alcohol are lifted further, excessive alcohol consumption is a hindrance in the country’s fight against the coronavirus.

It is therefore vital that South Africans act responsibly to ensure the country does not see a spike in alcohol-related incidents.

Restrictions on large gatherings and capacity limits in public venues remain in place, as they are critical to ensure physical distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19.

The national curfew also remains in place from 00:00 until 04:00.

“As restrictions on international travel are lifted, it is more important than ever for travellers to follow all safety protocols to protect their health and minimise the risk of acquiring COVID-19,” Ramaphosa said.

Interventions against a second wave

Ramaphosa noted the situation in the Eastern Cape, which is showing signs of a resurgence.

He said it is a matter of time before this surge spreads to other parts of the country, and therefore measures need to be taken to contain this rise in infections.

“In response to the rising infections, we are implementing a resurgence plan that has been developed together with the research team that has been deployed to our country by the WHO,” he said.

Interventions which will be taken in the Eastern Cape, and possibly in other resurgence hotspots, include primary healthcare outreach teams to improve contact tracing, daily community mobilisation, and more.

Ramaphosa added that the government will extend the national state of disaster by another month until 15 December 2020.

Level 1 lockdown rules

The images below detail the new level 1 lockdown restrictions for South Africa.

COVID level 1 1

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South Africa to ease level 1 lockdown rules