In a restrained response to surging numbers pointing to a Covid-19 third wave, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that on the advice of the Coronavirus advisory committee the government has decided to place the country under an adjusted level 2 lockdown.
This means that curfew will now be from 23h00 to 04h00. Non-essential businesses like restaurants and pubs will have to close their doors by 22h00 to enable their staff and patrons to get home before curfew.
Gatherings are affected – the maximum number of people in an indoor gathering will be 100 and for an outdoor gathering 250.
Funerals are allowed 100 people attending and ‘after-tears’ parties are banned. In smaller venues where social distancing only allows for smaller numbers, the rule is only 50% of the capacity may be used. The President said gatherings are the greatest source of infection.
The wine and liquor industries remain unaffected by the new lockdown level. There had been fears of a liquor lockdown which would have been a serious threat to the wine and liquor industries and licensed establishments.
Ramaphosa reminded the nation that mask-wearing is absolutely compulsory, and failing to wear a mask in public is a criminal offence. The onus is on owners of businesses and public transport vehicles who must ensure mask-wearing, social distancing and adequate ventilation.