President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce relief for the hospitality industry and other businesses by easing lockdown restrictions for South Africa, the Sunday Times reports.
While no official date and time has been set for the president’s address to the nation, stakeholders who met with Ramaphosa this week said a move to level 2 could come as early as Sunday evening (12 September).
The updated restrictions are expected to include:
- Increase the number of people allowed at outdoor venues from 100 to 250, and from 50 to 100 for indoor venues;
- The curfew is expected to be pushed back to between 23h00 and 04h00;
- Fewer restrictions on the sale of alcohol.
The president is also expected to outline the government’s plans to introduce a Covid-19 vaccine passport as part of a push to achieve herd immunity in the country.
On Saturday (11 September), South Africa reported 5,309 new cases, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 2,854,234, while 49,845 tests were conducted in the previous 24 hours, representing a 10.7% positivity rate.
A further 143 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, taking total fatalities to 84,751 to date.
A digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate will confirm that a person has been vaccinated in South Africa, said health minister Dr Joe Phaahla.
Addressing media on Friday (10 September), Phaahla said that the certificate would be available through a person’s smartphone, which can then also be printed out.
Phaahla said that the certificate has been developed with fraud and other security protections and will align with international standards.
“This initiative is in line with the World Health Organisation initiated vaccination certificate. Through this, the WHO attempting to standardise vaccination proof all over the world,” he said.
The minister said this certificate should be available to the vaccinated in ‘just over a week’.
Phaahla clarified that the documentation would be made available for those recently vaccinated and those vaccinated several months ago – as long as a person’s personal information is reflected in the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) system.
The health minister said that the certificate would likely be used for certain services in the future. but the government has no intention to make the certificate a requirement for accessing public services.
Instead, Phaahla said that the document would be used to gain entry to entertainment and sporting events and possibly some businesses.