SA will move to lockdown adjusted level 2 from Monday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday already confirmed that tighter restrictions were on the cards as SA enters its third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said over the last seven days, we have seen an average of 3,745 daily new infections. This is an increase of 31% on the previous week, and an increase of 66% on the week before that.
“Infections are just going up and we must do everything in our power to mitigate this. We once again have to remind South Africans to be vigilant and protect themselves and each other.”
The ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19 has recommended the country urgently implements further restrictions, based on increased hospitalisations and positive tests.
“Cabinet has therefore decided that the country will be placed on adjusted alert level 2 with effect from tomorrow.”
This means that new curfew hours are from 11pm to 4am, with bars and restaurants having to close by 10pm.
Alcohol sales will be permitted.
“The severity of this third wave will largely be determined by the amount of contact each of us have with other people,” said Ramaphosa.
All gatherings would allow only 100 people inside and 250 outside, with a 50% capacity indoors in smaller spaces. Night vigils and after funeral gatherings are not allowed.
The proportion of positive cases increased in recent months from 4% to 11%.
More than 60% of health workers have been vaccinated with the J&J vaccine, said Ramaphosa.
Since older people are at a far greater risk of severe illness and death, they have been prioritised for the current phase of vaccination. They are receiving the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two jabs.
More than one million of the most vulnerable South Africans have received the vaccine.
He acknowledged that some of the elderly have experienced difficulties registering for the vaccine.
“We are working to get around these problems.”
He assured the country that government had procured enough vaccines to give to all South Africans.
But the delivery of the J&J vaccine has been delayed due to certain processes that have to be followed before they can be released. “This is a challenge that has affected supply.”
Another batch of Pfizer vaccines was arriving on Sunday night, he said.