Government looking at gatherings and other restrictions as tougher lockdown looms

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on the measures government will introduce to stop the spread of the third Covid-19 wave in South Africa.

The National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) met on Thursday afternoon to further discuss these interventions, with further restrictions around gatherings top of the list of planned interventions, reported BusinessDay.

The current adjusted level 1 lockdown restrictions allow for gatherings of up to 250 people. Government is also considering the extension of the evening curfew period, which is currently in effect from 00h00 – 04h00.

It is understood that further restrictions around the sale of alcohol are not currently being considered, although health experts have warned that these could be looked at as a last resort going forward,

These restrictions largely align with recommendations made by  South Africa’s Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) and the department of health earlier this week.

The Western Cape health department has also recommended similar strategies, with a particular focus on limiting gatherings at events such as funerals.

The department said that all of the government’s efforts should be placed on these issues before looking at other restrictions as they will help reduce transmission and flatten the curve.

However, it said that government could also look at on the sale of alcohol if it was facing hospital capacity problems.

Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation this weekend or early next week, with acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni confirming on Thursday (27 May) that a family meeting is coming ‘soon’.

“We are as cabinet discussing the and consulting on the measures to make sure that we protect South Africans. A decision will be taken soon after the consultations and we will announce the date on which the president will hold the family meeting,” she said.

“We can confirm to South Africans that there will be a family meeting soon.”

On Thursday South Africa reported 4,424 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total reported to 1,649,977.

Deaths have reached 56,170, while recoveries have climbed to 1,548,092, leaving the country with a balance of 45,715 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 828,204.

Read: Ramaphosa to address South Africa on new lockdown measures

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Government looking at gatherings and other restrictions as tougher lockdown looms