• Chidozie Uzoezie

COVID-19 Second Wave: South Africa Introduces Further Restrictions

In response to the second wave of COVID-19 infections, President Cyril Ramaphosa has

introduced some further restrictions in order to curb the spread of the pandemic, particularly as the festive season kicks off.

President Ramaphosa confirmed that South Africa will remain at alert Level One, according to

the risk-adjusted framework, however, with stricter enforcement on the restrictions.

Further to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in the Eastern Cape being recently identified as

a COVID-19 hotspot, Sarah Baartman District Municipality also in the Eastern Cape and the

Garden Route District in the Western Cape, have also been identified as hotspots. This is based

on the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the last few weeks. In addition, four

provinces have been singled out for the rate at which infections are rising; KwaZulu Natal,

Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Gauteng.

Nationwide measures which have been implemented to curb the spread of the virus include the

reinstatement of the curfew from 23h00 until 04h00, effective immediately. All non-essential

businesses, bars and restaurants must close at 22h00, to allow sufficient time for staff and

patrons to travel.

The number of attendees at gatherings has been lowered to 100, for indoor events and 250 for

outdoor events. All venues must not exceed 50% of their maximum capacity.

A differentiated approach has been adopted with regards to the regulation of beaches and

national parks. For all areas with high infections which include the entire Eastern Cape and The

Garden Route, beaches will be closed from 16 December 2020 until 3 January 2021.

KwaZulu Natal beaches will be closed on traditionally busy days which include 16,25,26 and 31

December 2020 as well as 1,2, and 3 January 2021. Beaches in the Northern Cape and the

Western Cape will remain open throughout the festive season. Festivals, live music events and

concerts at beaches are prohibited.

National and Provincial Parks, where all safety measures are in place, may remain open.

In addition, President Ramaphosa also confirmed that the sale of alcohol from retail outlets will

only be permitted between 10h00 and 18h00 from Monday to Thursday. Wineries and wine

estates may open for wine tasting and purchases during the normal licensed hours for off-site

consumption, due to their economic and tourism impact.

Alcohol consumption in public spaces, such as beaches and parks, is also strictly forbidden.

President Ramaphosa further reiterated the importance of traveling safely and strictly adhering

to all health and safety protocols during the festive season.

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