- South Africa will move to Level 2 from midnight on Monday.
- The tobacco ban will be lifted completely, while alcohol sales will be allowed under certain restrictions.
- Interprovincial travel will be allowed.
On midnight at Monday, South Africa will move to Alert Level 2 of the national lockdown.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Saturday evening that the country can afford to open up the economy and allow more activities, given that “all indications are” that South Africa has reached the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, and that the health sector is able to withstand and deal with the pandemic.
The number of new confirmed cases has dropped from a peak of over 12,000 a day to an average over the past week of around 5,000 a day.
While the full details of what will be permitted under Level 2 still need to be gazetted, Ramaphosa indicated the following:
- Interprovincial travel will be allowed, without restrictions
- Hotels and guest houses can allow leisure travellers.
- The cigarette ban will be completely lifted.
- Bars, shebeens and taverns will be allowed to operate.
- Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 22:00
- Liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 09:00 to 17:00 only
- Family and social interactions will be allowed, but only in “small groups”
- Gyms and fitness centres can reopen
- Parks, beaches and natures reserves will be open for outdoor activity
The following restrictions will remain in place:
- International travel – beyond what is currently permitted – will still not be allowed.
- No gatherings of more than 50 people, including funerals and religious events will be allowed
- Spectators are still not permitted at sporting events
- The curfew (between 22:00 and 04:00) will remain in place.
- It will remain mandatory to wear a mask in public.
- Those who can work from home will be encouraged to remain away from the office.
- The number of people allowed in stores, restaurants and cinemas and other public spaces will remain restricted.
“The further easing of restrictions presents us with the greatest opportunity since the start of the pandemic to breathe life into our struggling economy,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa said government is now working on an “urgent” stimulus package, particularly aimed at creating employment.