President Cyril Ramaphosa will announce a number of new restrictions in an effort to curb South Africa’s third wave of Covid-19 infections.
The City Press reported that the new measures will effectively see the country move to an adjusted level 2 lockdown in the coming days.
Following a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on Tuesday, the paper reported that the following measures are set to be announced:
- Stricter enforcement of mask-wearing in public and social distancing;
- Restrictions on gatherings and how many people may gather;
- An earlier evening curfew period.
A member of the NCCC told the City Press that indoor gatherings will be reduced from 250 people to 100 people, while outdoor events are set to remain at 500 people.
The member added that much of the focus of the new restrictions will be on non-pharmaceutical interventions such as mask-wearing and social distancing as a degree of fatigue has set in among South Africans.
Townships, universities and areas with high concentrations of students are all expected to see increased police patrols to enforce compliance.
It is understood that liquor restrictions will be revisited at a later date depending on whether the healthcare sector successfully copes with the expected influx in hospitalisations.
Alternatively, the sale of alcohol could only be permitted between Monday and Thursday, with weekend consumption seen as a key contributor to reckless behaviour.
Police visibility and enforcement is expected to drastically increase again to enforce these measures.
South Africa reported a total of 4,519 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday (29 May), with 39,618 tests reported in the previous 24 hour period. This represents a positivity rate of 11.4%.
A further 70 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, taking total fatalities to 56,363 to date. The total number of individuals vaccinated under both the Sisonke protocol and with the Pfizer first dose is 963,876.