Ramaphosa moves the country to level 2

Ramaphosa eases restrictions, moves country to level 2

President Cyril Ramaphosa has eased lockdown restrictions, much to the relief of restaurants and the hospitality industry. 

Cyril Ramaphosa Sept 21

Ramaphosa addressed the nation from the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Sunday evening amid growing pressure to open up more of the economy. 


Following high-level meetings with the National Coronavirus Command Council, the President’s Coordinating Council and Cabinet, Ramaphosa moved the country to level 2.


The changes will take effect on Monday. 


Under level 2, the curfew will be between 11pm and 4am, with non-essential establishment such as restaurants and bars expected to close their doors at 10pm.


The sale of alcohol for off-site consumption will be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Friday, while on-site consumption will be permitted up to 10pm.


Political parties and the religious sector will also enjoy larger gatherings ahead of local government elections.


“All gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used,” said Ramaphosa.


“This includes religious services, political events and social gatherings, as well as restaurants, bars, taverns and similar places.”


The thumbs up for larger gatherings come ahead of the local government elections on November 1. 


Ramaphosa called on political leaders to take to the campaign trails responsibly. 


Some restrictions remain intact. 


“It is a criminal offence not to do so, and the managers of shops and restaurants as well as drivers of taxis and buses have a responsibility to ensure that their customers wear masks, and that the appropriate social distancing measures are in place.


“Funerals remain restricted to no more than 50 people, and, as before, night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed,” he said. 


Ramaphosa admitted to the hardships faced by some industries gripped by restrictions but remained optimistic that the economy would pick following the successful vaccination of the bulk of the country’s population. 

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