South Africa will move to coronavirus lockdown alert level one at
South Africa will move to coronavirus lockdown alert level one at midnight.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said cabinet took decision to adjust the alert level after a 'dramatic' drop in new infections over the past few weeks.
New government gazette regulations will see the curfew moved to 12am to 4am. Alcohol sales are now permitted under regular licensed hours.
Public gatherings will be permitted with a maximum of 100 people indoors and 250 outdoors.
Night clubs to remain closed while wearing a mask remains mandatory.
"As we ease restrictions, we cannot let our guard down. The few remaining restrictions under Alert Level 1 are meant to maintain low levels of infections and, in particular, to prevent super-spreading events,” Ramaphosa said.
“We were able to emerge from the second wave because most people adhered to the tighter restrictions and observed the basic health protocols, including wearing masks in public and social distancing,” he added.
Ramaphosa once again thank the country's healythcare worker's and scientists for their efforts over the past year.
With more than 60 000 frontline workers already vaccinated, Ramaphosa said he was confident that number would grow exponentially in the coming months.
He confirmed South Africa would begin its second phase of the vaccine rollout by May.
"We have recently signed an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to secure 11 million doses."
"Of these doses, 2.8 million doses will be delivered in the second quarter and the rest spread throughout the year."
"We have also secured 20 million doses from Pfizer, which will be delivered from the second quarter."
"Additionally, we have secured 12 million vaccine doses from the COVAX facility and are in the process of finalising our dose allocation from the African Union."
He once again cautioned South African not to drop their guard with the risk of a third wave of the virus lurking.
"The easing of restrictions should not be viewed as a reason to abandon precautions. The threat of a third wave is constantly present, as is the threat of yet more new variants. As we witnessed last year, our actions as individuals and as a collective will determine whether and how soon we experience a resurgence of the virus," Ramaphosa said.
Listen to the full speech here:
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