30 March 2021
Pretoria – Following recommendations made by the National Covid -19 Command Council (NCCC) and other stakeholders, South Africa will remain on alert level one (1).
The remarks were made by President Ramaphosa on Tuesday evening during a televised address to the nation.
Much of the Covid -19 restrictions currently obtaining will remain in place, serve for only a few adjustments made on the sell of alcohol which has the potential of becoming a super spreader as well as on religious and public gatherings during the Easter period.
Ramaphosa urged South Africans not let their guard down during the forthcoming Easter holiday, even though the rate of transmission remains stable.
“While the rate of transmission remains stable, we cannot let our guard down.”
“This is a time when caution is needed more than ever,” Ramaphosa said.
The President said that after the advice and consultations given by experts over the last few days, several factors were considered on how to prevent outbreaks of covid -19 infections during the Easter festivities.
“Over the last few days, we have sought the advice of experts and consulted with representatives of provincial and local government and traditional leaders on what measures should be put in place over the coming long weekend to prevent a new outbreak of infections.”
“We have considered several factors, including presentations by the religious community on precautionary measures they have put in place for the anticipated gatherings,” he said.
Ramaphosa said as a result of the transmission level obtaining in the country, South Africa will remain on alert level 1.
“Given the relatively low transmission levels, we have decided to keep the country on coronavirus Alert Level 1,” he said.
The President added that however, due to the specific circumstances of this period, some few adjustments need to be made while others remain unchanged.
“The curfew is maintained from midnight to 4am. Public recreational spaces such as beaches, parks and dams will remain open.”
“However, this will continue to be subject to strict health protocols, such as social distancing, mask-wearing,” he said.
“Funerals remain restricted to a maximum of 100 people and with a two-hour limit on services. Interprovincial travel will still be permitted,” the President added.
Given the role of alcohol in fuelling reckless behavior, some restrictions have been put in place over the Easter weekend.
“To this end, the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption will be prohibited this coming Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.”
“On-site sales at restaurants, shebeens and bars will be allowed, according to licensing conditions, up until 23:00,” the President said.
The President mentioned that religious gatherings for outdoor gatherings will be limited to 250 people while for outdoor gatherings to 500 people. The President also urged that strict health protocols should be followed by all South Africans when attending outdoor events as they have a potential of becoming super spreaders of the virus.
In the past few days, the Liquor industry urged the government not to restrict or ban the sale and consumption of alcohol, Tuesday’s announcement by the President will be a big blow to the liquor sector.