Many South Africans let out a sigh of relief when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would move to alert level 1 of the national lockdown at midnight on Sunday 20 September.
The President said, “It is time to move to our new normal…it’s time to remove many economic restrictions”.
Some of the changes include:
- Gatherings will now be permitted but should not exceed 50% of the normal capacity of the venue. It is also limited to 250 people for indoor events and 500 people for outdoor events.
- Funeral attendance is increased to 150 people.
- Gyms, theatres and other recreational facilities may only allow people for up to 50% of their capacity while ensuring health protocols are in place and social distancing is adhered to
- The curfew will be implemented from midnight until 4 am
- Alcohol sales will be allowed from 9 am until 5 pm from Monday to Friday, barring licensed establishments, who may sell alcohol for on-site consumption only.
- International travel will be allowed from 1 October 2020 with the exception of countries with a high number of active Coronavirus cases, a list of these countries will be released soon.
Ramaphosa said on arrival, travellers will need to present a negative COVID-19 test not older than 72 hours. Those who have not been tested will be subjected to a test in SA and quarantined at their own expense.
Only 3 airports will be open for international travel:
- King Shaka International
- Cape Town International
- OR Tambo International
The President warned, “Although we have managed to control the virus through strict lockdown measures, the threat of a ‘second wave’ of infections remains. Vital precautionary measures must be maintained to prevent a new spike in COVID-19 cases”.