Less than two weeks ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation, confirming a move to alert level 3 lockdown as the country was experiencing a third wave of infections for COVID-19. This evening he addressed the nation again as the number of newly recorded infections has increased, with a number of provinces like Gauteng struggling to cope with this latest wave.
As a result, Ramaphosa has announced that the country will move to adjusted alert level 4 for 14 days, starting from 21:00 tomorrow until 11th July.
All gatherings, whether indoors and outdoors, will not be allowed over the next two weeks, with the only exception being funerals where strict regulations must be adhered to.
A new curfew of 21:00 in the evening until 4:00 in the morning will now be applied. The sale of alcohol, both onsite or offsite, will also be prohibited. Furthermore restaurants will need to be closed by 20:00, with only take-away sales being allowed over the next two weeks.
President #Ramaphosa: The new #curfew hours will be from 9pm to 4am. Apart from permitted workers, no person may be outside their place of residence during curfew.#StaySafe #CoronaVirusSA #Level4 #14Days pic.twitter.com/dMoL8jddhV
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) June 27, 2021
In the education sector, all schools and tertiary institutions are expected to be closed by 30th June.
Added to this, all non-essential travel in and out of Gauteng has been prohibited.
The President also made mention of the delta variant of COVID-19, which was first identified in India in March of this year, now being found in five provinces in the country.
The delta variant is of particular concern as transmission is far easier, with it being noted to be twice as contagious as previous variants. Added to this is increasing scientific data that those who may have suffered infection from the beta variant of COVID-19 are at higher risk of re-infection with the delta variant.
As for what will happen after 11th July, a decision by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will be taken based on how the new lockdown measures and regulations have worked in slowing the spread of the virus. The next two weeks, will therefore prove crucial for the country.
[Image – CC BY-ND 2.0 GovernmentZA on Flickr]