Ramaphosa keeps SA on level 1 lockdown despite Omicron spike

Ramaphosa keeps SA on level 1 lockdown despite Omicron spike

South Africa will remain on level 1 of the lockdown, despite fears of harsher restrictions amid a surge in Covid-19 infections. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa address to the nation 28 november

President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement during a national address on Sunday evening. 


Earlier this week the country’s scientists lifted the lid in a new variant that’s believed to be driving the spike in cases, especially in Gauteng.


While the variant was first identified in South Africa, Omicron is also prevalent in other parts of the world. 


Scientists and other experts are still hard at work to piece together information about the variant, as well as the health and economic fallout out that may result from the looming fourth wave. 


The fourth wave is estimated to hit in December. 


Despite concerns, Ramaphosa believes there is no need to rush to harsher restrictions. 


“The National Coronavirus Command Council met yesterday to consider the recent rise in infections and the possible impact of the Omicron variant. 

"This was followed by meetings earlier today of the President’s Coordinating Council and Cabinet, where a decision was taken that the country should remain on Coronavirus Alert Level 1 for now and that the National State of Disaster should remain in place,” he told the nation.


“In taking the decision not to impose further restrictions at this stage, we considered the fact that when we encountered previous waves of infection, vaccines were not widely available and far fewer people were vaccinated. That is no longer the case.”


Businesses will breathe a sigh of relief as the latest announcement is unlikely to bring any more disruptions to the bottom line.


A curfew remains in place between midnight and 4am.



The sale of alcohol is permitted but not outside curfew hours. 


Indoor gatherings are limited to 750 attendees, while outdoor events are limited to 2000 people. 


But no more than 100 people are permitted at funerals, while night vigils and ‘after-tears’ remain banned. 


“However, this approach will not be sustainable if we do not increase the vaccination rate, if we do not wear masks, or if we fail to adhere to basic health precautions,” Ramaphosa warned. 


“We will closely monitor infection rates and hospitalisation over the coming days and will review the situation in another week.


“We will then need to determine whether the existing measures are adequate or whether changes need to be made to the current regulations,” he added. 


The country was initially placed on level 1 at the end of September. 


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