President Cyril Ramaphosa declared on Wednesday night an easing of South Africa’s risk-adjusted lockdown policy to level 1.
“We were resisting a coronavirus hurricane. Now is the time to transfer the nation and our people to what’s going to become the new standard.
The president declared that a number of social gathering limits would be relaxed, including allowing up to 100 people to attend funerals. Under the previous rules for the lockout, attendance was limited to 50 people.
The curfew will also be adjusted to between midnight and 4 am daily in a boon for the restaurant and entertainment industries.
From Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 5 pm, alcohol sales will be allowed.
The president has also declared the country’s borders are steadily reopening.
With effect from 1 October, we will allow travel into and out of South Africa for business, leisure, and other travel, “Ramaphosa said.”
However, for Covid-19, travelers would have to include a certificate of evidence that they have tested negative.
“South African missions abroad will be available for visa applications and will reinstate all long-term visas,” he said.
After meeting members of the National Coronavirus Command Council on Monday and after a special session of the President’s Coordinating Council, which he co-chairs with Deputy President David Mabuza, Ramaphosa addressed the country.
The PCC is made up of South African Local Government Association (Salga) and National House of Traditional Leaders ministers, premiers, and leadership.
South Africa has been declared a disaster state for the past six months, and has been in lockdown since the end of March. The state of the disaster has been announced in a bid to combat coronavirus spread.
More than 15,640 individuals have died in Covid-19 related deaths in South Africa since April, while over 650,000 individuals have contracted the virus.
Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape were the most badly affected provinces.
Under lockdown level 1, all industries will be able to trade, Ramaphosa declared, and for the first time since borders were sealed during lockdown level 5, international air travel will be able.
In a draft document circulated by government officials in April, the government had expected that the spread of the virus would below level 1 and that the health sector would be more equipped for the high framework.
There was also good news for the musicians, as Ramaphosa declared that indoor meetings could accommodate up to 200 people at a time, while outdoor activities would be limited to 500.
Musicians and other role players in the entertainment industry held a rally at Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday, demanding that they be permitted to host events. More than 30 individuals in the industry have recently been arrested in Durban when they blocked the N3 highway in an effort to highlight their plight.
Since venues were not permitted to host more than 50 people legally, they were starving, they said.
Ramaphosa also said that religious gatherings including mosques , churches and temples could now accommodate a capacity of up to 50 per cent. This is a substantial improvement compared with the 50-person limit implemented after level 4.
Up to 50 percent of their venue capacity will also be required for gyms and theatres.