The President stepped up to the podium just eleven days after the last family meeting to update the country on further restrictions and how the country is handling the pandemic, especially now that the country has officially entered the second wave.
There can no longer be any doubt – the country has entered a second wave of coronavirus infections. Given the rate at which new cases have grown over the last two weeks, there is every possibility that if we do not act urgently and if we do not act together, the second wave will be more severe than the first wave.
The Sarah Baartman District and the Garden Route District were declared hotspots along with Nelson Mandela Bay.
we will ensure that there is stricter enforcement of existing alert level 1 restrictions throughout the country during the festive season and beyond.
President Ramaphosa therefore announced the following additional restrictions which will be put in place as of 17 December.
Drivers and operators of public transport must ensure that all passengers wear a mask.
The managers or owners of buildings, places or premises are obliged by law to ensure that all customers who enter their facilities or buildings wear a mask.
An employer must ensure that all employees wear a mask while they perform their duties.
Gatherings may not exceed more than 100 attendants for indoor events and 250 for outdoor events. Tthe total number of people in a venue may not exceed more than 50% of the capacity of the venue. All gatherings must also include adequate ventilation, social distancing, wearing of masks and provision of hand-sanitiser.
All post-funeral gatherings, including ‘after-tears’ parties, are prohibited.
In the Eastern Cape, Garden Route and the Western Cape, beaches and public parks will be closed for the duration of the festive season from the 16th of December to the 3rd of January.
In KwaZulu-Natal, beaches and public parks will be closed on what are traditionally the busiest days of the season which are the 16th, 25th, 26th and 31st of December 2020 and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of January 2021.
The beaches and public parks of the Northern Cape and the Western Cape, will remain open to the public over the festive season except in the Garden Route.
Festivals, live music, and live performances at beaches are prohibited.
Beaches and parks that are open to the public will only be open between 9am and 6pm.
Curfew is now from 11PM until 4AM.
Non-essential establishments, including restaurants and bars, will have to close at 10pm so that staff and patrons can get home before the enforcement of the curfew.
The sale of alcohol will only be allowed between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday. Registered wineries and wine farms may continue to offer tastings and wine sales to the public for off-site consumption over weekends.
Alcohol consumption in all public spaces, such as beaches and parks, is strictly forbidden.
Ramaphosa also said that the daily average of new cases nationally over the last 7 days is 74% higher than the previous 7 days. In this time, the number of new cases has increased from a daily average of around 3,800 to just over 6,600 a day. Most of the infections are among people aged 15 to 19.
“The daily average of COVID-19 deaths has increased by nearly 50% over the same period from just over 100 deaths a day to just over 150 deaths. The four provinces that are leading the second wave are Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng,” he explained.
These festive season restrictions will be relooked at in early January based on the state of the pandemic across the country.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé