South Africa moves back to lockdown level 1 – here are the changes, and restrictions
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that South Africa will move back to lockdown level 1.
In a national address on Sunday evening (28 February), the president said that the eased restrictions come nearly a year after the first Covid-19 case was first reported in the country.
He added that the country has now clearly passed its second wave in Covid-19 cases, with most people adhering to tighter restrictions and observing basic health protocols.
Ramaphosa outlined the following changes to restrictions:
- The evening curfew will remain in place, but will now run from 00h00 to 04h00;
- The sale of alcohol is permitted in line with normal licence conditions, but may not be sold during hours of curfew;
- Gatherings will be permitted subject to limitations on size and health protocols – this includes religious, social, political and cultural gatherings;
- The maximum number of people at any gathering is 100 for indoor and 250 for outdoor – subject to floor space.
- Night vigils before and after funerals are still not permitted;
- Nightclubs remain closed;
- The wearing of masks in public places is still compulsory – failing to do so is a criminal offence;
- Some land border posts remain closed and five international airports will be open.
The new alert level will come into effect later on Sunday evening, once the regulations have been gazetted.
The five airports open for international travel are:
- OR Tambo International Airport
- Cape Town International Airport
- Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
- King Shaka International Airport
- Lanseria Airport
The 33 land border posts that have been closed throughout this period will remain closed, while the other 20 will remain open.
“As we ease restrictions we cannot let our guard down. The few remaining restrictions aim to it infections and prevent super spreader events,” Ramaphosa said.
The threat of a third wave is constantly present – as is the threat of new variants, he said.