Saturday, 15 August 2020


President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the country will be moving to alert level 2 with bans on travel between provinces and the sale of alcohol and tobacco products being lifted.

The easing from level 3 is effective from Monday midnight, with trading in liquor and cigarettes set to resume on Tuesday.

Ramaphosa has been in consultation with various stakeholders since Thursday following advice from health experts that the country has been successful in arresting the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

“We have made progress in our fight against Covid-19. Over the last three weeks, 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. The recovery rate from coronavirus has risen from 48% at the time of my last address and now stands at 80%,” Ramaphosa said.

“Fewer people are presenting with symptoms at our health facilities. We are also finding that fewer people are requiring admission in our hospitals and the demand for coronavirus tests has dropped. The number of patients hospitalised has decreased from 10,000 at the beginning of the month to around 4,000.”

The president's announcement comes on day 142 of the nationwide lockdown. Government is now confident that the easing of restrictions will no longer undermine health infrastructure.

“Guided by the advice of our health experts and after consultation with provincial and local government, cabinet has decided to place the entire country on alert level 2, with effect from midnight on Monday, the 17th of August 2020,” said Ramaphosa.

Among the easing of restrictions which will come with level 2 is:

All restrictions on interprovincial travel will be lifted.
Accommodation, hospitality venues and tours will be permitted according to approved protocols to ensure social distancing.

Restaurants, bars and taverns will be permitted to operate according to approved protocols as to times of operation and numbers of people.
Restrictions on the sale of tobacco will be lifted.

The suspension of the sale of alcohol will be lifted subject to certain restrictions.
Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 10pm.

Liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 9am to 5pm only.

Restrictions on family and social visits will also be lifted, though everyone is urged to exercise extreme caution and undertake such visits only if necessary.
A curfew will also remain in place between the hours of 10pm and 4am.

While domestic flights have been permitted since level 3, international travel remains restricted.


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