Easing of restrictions come as cases seen declining steadily across most parts of the country.
On Sunday evening, the country’s president Cyril Ramaphosa announced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions as cases related to the third wave continue declining. According to the president, a sustained decline has been noted across all provinces except for the Northern Cape and the Free State. The new set of revised restrictions will be effective as of Monday, the 13th of September. Ramaphosa also encouraged South Africans to get vaccinated, with the country now administering a million doses every 4-5 days. At present, just over 25% of adult South Africans have received at least one vaccine dose, while more than seven million have so far been fully vaccinated. He also announced that government was working on a plan for vaccine passports, intended to allow people to attend sporting events.
Some of the revised restrictions include having the curfew hours extended to now run from 23h00 to 04h00. Non-essential establishments such as bars and gyms will now be required to close at 22h00. All gatherings will now be limited to 250 people indoors, while outdoor gatherings will be limited to 500 people. Whereby venues are too small to accommodate larger crowds of people, such establishments would need to cap their patrons to no more than 50% of the available floor space. The sale of alcohol for off-site consumption will now be allowed from 10h00 to 18h00 from Monday-Friday, while on-site consumption will be allowed until 22h00. However, funerals will remain restricted to no more than 50 people, with night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings remaining banned.