South Africans back to lockdown level 3 over Covid-19 case surge

Cape Town — South Africa is once again at Alert Level 3 due to a surge in confirmed cases of Covid-19, with some adjustments.

“Under the adjusted Level 3 regulations: All indoor and outdoor gatherings will be prohibited for 14 days from the date hereof, except for funerals and other limited exceptions as detailed in the regulations, such as restaurants, museums, gyms, and casinos,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

This means restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol – a regulation that previously caused major controversy. South Africans were also called on to avoid closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact with others.

Ramaphosa spoke to South Africans in a national address after a meeting on December 27 of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and special sessions today of the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) and Cabinet.

“The nationwide curfew will be extended from 9 pm to 6 am. Apart from permitted workers and for medical and security emergencies, nobody is allowed outside their place of residence during the curfew,” he said.

The move, Ramaphosa said, is being done to limit super-spreader events further, and will adjust the previous level 3 regulations to keep the economy as open as possible.

Key adjusted Level 3 regulations:

Wearing a cloth mask or similar covering over the nose and mouth is again mandatory when in public.

Extended curfew – from 9 pm to 6 am

New hotspots were declared in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Western Cape, and North West

All indoor and outdoor gatherings will be prohibited for 14 days, with an exception of funerals and places like restaurants and gyms. These exceptions will be clarified in the official regulations.

Alcohol sales from retail outlets and onsite consumption are banned. The prohibition on the public consumption of alcohol remains.

Businesses will continue to operate, subject to guidelines. Nightclubs and businesses that rely on alcohol sales will not be allowed to operate.

All beaches, dams, rivers and public parks, and public pools in hotspot areas will be closed to the public.

All regulations take effect at midnight on December 28, 2020.

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