South Africa moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 3, amid spike in infections

Two weeks after moving the country to level 2, the president further tightens restrictions.

In his address on Tuesday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a series of more stringent restrictions for the country to help stop healthcare facilities from being overwhelmed. The new restrictions include limiting curfew hours to between 22h00 and 04h00. Non-essential establishments such as bars and fitness centres will be required to close at 21h00 and the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption will only permitted between 10h00 and 18h00 from Monday to Thursday. On-site alcohol consumption is only permitted until 21h00 while public gatherings are to be limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. The limitation for attendance at funerals has been set as 50 people, with night vigils and after-funeral gatherings remaining prohibited.

The move follows the National Institute for Communicable Diseases’s pronouncement last week that South Africa had technically entered into its third Covid-19 wave. In his address, Ramaphosa said daily infections had doubled over the past two weeks, rising to 7,500 from the 3,700 reported two weeks ago when he put the country on level 2 lockdown and introduced a series of fresh restrictions. Hospital admissions due to Covid-19 had also risen by 59% while the average Covid-19 related deaths had nearly doubled over the same period. Apart from the Northern Cape, all other provinces where experiencing a rise in infections. While Gauteng, Free State, North West and Northern Cape are officially in a third wave, the others are expected to soon reach that point soon.