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South Africa reopens schools as Ramaphosa Relaxes Lockdown Restrictions

South Africa Tightens Lockdown
South Africa Tightens Lockdown

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced that the Cabinet had agreed to relax lockdown restrictions following a decline in the number of new coronavirus infections.

 

In his address to the nation Sunday, he said:

 

Cabinet this afternoon (Sunday) decided that the country should be moved from Adjusted Alert Level 4 and be placed on Adjusted Alert Level 3.

This will take effect later this evening once the regulations have been gazetted.

The hours of curfew will stay the same, starting at 10 pm and end at 4 am.

Inter-provincial travel for leisure may resume.

Non-essential establishments like restaurants, taverns, bars and fitness centres may be opened. These establishments will, however, need to close by 9 pm to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.

Gatherings will be allowed but will be limited to a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.

Gatherings include religious services, political events and social gatherings.

The limits on venue capacity also apply to restaurants, gyms, fitness centres, bars, taverns and similar places.

Attendance at funerals and cremations may not exceed 50 people and all social distancing and health protocols must be observed.

Night vigils and after-funeral gatherings are still not allowed.

The sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption will be permitted between 10 am and 6 pm from Monday to Thursday.

Alcohol sales for on-site consumption will be permitted as per licence conditions up to 8 pm.

Schools will re-open tomorrow, Monday the 26th of July, according to strict health protocols and other measures announced by the Minister of Basic Education.

It remains mandatory for every person to wear a face mask that always covers their nose and mouth at all times when in public spaces.

The owners and managers of public buildings, centres, shops, restaurants, taxis and buses all have a responsibility to ensure that people on their premises or in their vehicles wear masks.

They must also ensure that the appropriate social distancing measures are in place and are adhered to.

It is important to remember that it is a criminal offence if the number of people on these premises exceeds the maximum number of customers or employees allowed.

As we ease restrictions, we must remember that infections remain high and that we need to continue to exercise caution.

We have now administered more than 6.3 million vaccines, with over 10% of our population having received a vaccine dose.

In the coming weeks, we will substantially increase the rate of vaccination. We are increasing the number of vaccination sites and improving the vaccination registration system. We will also increase our vaccination capacity on weekends.

We will now allow people between the ages of 18 and 34 to be vaccinated from the 1st of September 2021. This will be in addition to the age groups that are currently eligible, which is everyone over 35 years of age.

We are now able to allow people to present themselves at a vaccination site without an appointment and be registered and vaccinated.

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