South Africa moves to adjusted Alert Level 3 lockdown
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28 Jul 2021
President Ramaphosa announced that South Africa will move to an adjusted Alert Level 3 lockdown during an address to the nation on South Africa’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The president confirmed that the country has “largely passed the peak of the third wave of infections”.
However, there are still some areas “where we still need to be concerned because the rates of infection have not yet shown signs of decline.”
The president added that the measures put in place over the past 28 days have been effective in reducing the rate of infection.
“The average number of daily new infections over the last week was around 12,000 new cases a day, which represents a 20% drop from the previous week,” he said.
Measures during Adjusted Alert Level 3 include:
- Curfew to remain the same – 10pm to 4am.
- Interprovincial travel for leisure to resume.
- Non-essential establishments such as restaurants, taverns, bars and fitness centres to open – to close by 9pm to allow employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.
- Gatherings to be allowed but limited to a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors – if venue too small to allow for social distancing then no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue to be used – includes religious services, political events and social gatherings.
- Limits on venue capacity also apply to restaurants, gyms, fitness centres, bars, taverns and similar places.
- Attendance at funerals and cremations to not exceed 50 people and all social distancing and health protocols to be observed.
- Night vigils and after-funeral gatherings still not allowed.
- Sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday – alcohol sales for on-site consumption permitted as per licence conditions up to 8pm.
- Schools to re-open on 26 July in accordance with strict health protocols and other measures.
In terms of the vaccination campaign, the president pointed out that more than 240,000 vaccines are now being administered every week day.
Currently, more than 6.3 million vaccines have been administered with over 10 per cent of the population having received a vaccine dose.
The president announced that people between the ages of 18 and 34 will be vaccinated from 1 September 2021.
“We are now able to allow people to present themselves at a vaccination site without an appointment and be registered and vaccinated,” he said.
The president added that the supply of vaccines has improved with around 31 million additional doses from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson scheduled to be received within the next two to three months resulting in sufficient doses available for the rest of the year.
Other highlights announced include that the Social Relief of Distress Grant of R350 per month will be reinstated until the end of March 2022 with eligibility expanded to unemployed caregivers currently receiving a Child Support Grant; government to contribute R400 million to the Humanitarian Crisis Relief Fund set up by the Solidarity Fund to assist with the immediate needs of communities affected by the recent violence and looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal; SASRIA to expedite the payment of all valid insurance claims; uninsured businesses to also be supported with a mechanism for application to be announced soon; a once-off business survival funding mechanism to be set up; the Employment Tax Incentive to be expanded for a period of four months to include any employee earning below R6 500 and to increase the incentive amount by up to R750 per month; payment of PAYE taxes to be deferred for three months with automatic deferral of 35% of PAYE liabilities for employers with revenue below R100 million; payment of excise tax by the alcohol sector to be deferred for three months and further measures to address poverty, accelerate the implementation of reforms, drive inclusive growth and create jobs to be announced soon.
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