On Monday, the 14th of December, a stern Ramaphosa addressed the nation regarding the recent surge in Covid-19 cases. As the country sat in trepidation, the president announced strict yet fair restrictions for the festive period, asking citizens to practice responsibility and to consider the lives of others.
The new South African lockdown restrictions include:
A new curfew - hours of curfew will be from 22h00 – 04h00. Only essential workers will be permitted to travel between these hours.
A tighter rein on alcohol sales and consumption – alcohol outlets will only be permitted to trade between 10h00 and 18h00, from Monday to Thursday and alcohol cannot be consumed in public places.
Stricter protocol for gatherings - events may not be attended by more than 100 people for indoor gatherings and 250 people for outdoor gatherings; with the number of people not exceeding 50% of a venue’s capacity.
When planning funerals - all post-gatherings will need to be cancelled or postponed to a later date.
Closure of certain parks and beaches – certain beaches across the country will close on days where they are expected to be very busy. These closure dates include 16, 26, and 31 December and 1, 2, and 3 January.
ALL citizens have also been prompted to wear masks with a warning of fines and imprisonment for those who do not adhere to this warning.
“We have gotten into the Christmas spirit early and are inviting friends and family over for get-togethers. Yet, it is our failure to closely adhere to basic precautions at all times that has brought us to this second wave” – says president Ramaphosa.
There is no denying that South Africa has started with the second wave of Covid-19 infections and, at this point, there is uncertainty as to where the wave will take us. What we do know is that there is every possibility that if we do not unite as a country and take a considerate approach going forward, then the second wave could be more severe than the first.
President Ramaphosa ended his speech by encouraging South Africans to play their part:
“If we each follow the few basic precautions, then we can all have a joyful festive season – and, most importantly, we can all have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year”.