South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that restrictions put in place to control the spread of coronavirus will be lowered to alert level 1, from level 3.
He said that restrictions put in place over the holiday period had succeeded in reducing infection levels – from 90,000 new infections a week at the end of December, to 10,000 new infections last week.
Under level 1, most remaining restrictions on economic activity will be lifted.
President Ramaphosa said all energy and effort must now go into growing the economy, whilst exercising extreme caution to prevent further spread of the virus.
He said the threat of a third wave is constantly present, as is the threat of new variants emerging.
He said social distancing, avoiding crowds, and wearing masks, are more important than ever.