Adjusted level 3 lockdown: alcohol sales banned, a tighter curfew and more…
By IOL Reporter 22m ago
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From midnight tonight, South Africa will enter an adjusted level 3 lockdown until January 15.
In his speech to the nation earlier this evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa said several of the level 3 regulations are being strengthened to further limit the potential for transmission while doing everything possible to keep the economy open.
He said the decision by the Cabinet was taken to minimise the risk of super-spreading events even further.
He said as the number of people with active infections rises, there is a greater risk of an infected person without symptoms being present in a gathering and spreading the virus.
"We want to decrease unsafe interactions between people, we want to increase the implementation of our five key prevention measures – social distancing, masks, hand hygiene, symptom-checking and testing. We also want to decrease the burden on health-care services so that resources can be directed to meet the needs of Covid-19 and other patients,“ Ramaphosa said.
- All indoor and outdoor gatherings will be prohibited for 14 days from the date hereof, except for funerals and other limited exceptions as detailed in the regulations, such as restaurants, museums, gyms and casinos.
- Funerals may not be attended by more than 50 people with social distancing.
- Every business premises must determine the maximum number of staff and customers permitted at any one time based on our social-distancing guidelines and may not exceed that limit.
- The nationwide curfew will be extended from 9pm to 6am. Apart from permitted workers and for medical and security emergencies, nobody is allowed outside their place of residence during curfew.
- Non-essential establishments – including shops, restaurants, bars and all cultural venues – must close at 8pm.
- The sale of alcohol from retail outlets and the on-site consumption of alcohol will not be permitted.
- The prohibition on consuming alcohol in public spaces like parks and beaches remains.
- Night clubs and businesses engaged in the sale and transportation of liquor will not be allowed to operate.
- A person who does not wear a mask could be arrested and prosecuted. On conviction, they will be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both a fine and imprisonment.
- All beaches, dams, lakes, rivers, public parks and public swimming pools in hotspot areas will be closed to the public.
Ramaphosa said these regulations may be reviewed within the next few weeks if there is a sustained decline in infections and hospital admissions.
In effect, the adjusted level 3 regulations will keep the economy open while strengthening measures to reduce transmission.
With a few exceptions, businesses may continue to operate as long as all relevant health protocols and social distancing measures are adhered to.
The level 3 restrictions will remain in place until January 15, 2021. These measures will be reviewed at that time on the basis of the state of the pandemic in the country.