Restrictions relaxed as South Africa scales down from alert level 3

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa will move from the Adjusted Alert Level 3 to an Adjusted Alert Level 2 with immediate effect, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced.

South Africa will move from the Adjusted Alert Level 3 to an Adjusted Alert Level 2 with effect from Monday, September 13th, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday.

In the new measures, the country’s nighttime curfew will begin at 11:00 p.m. local time and end at 4:00 a.m.

Under the new eased restrictions, non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres will be required to close by 10:00 p.m.

Ramaphosa said the new measures were crafted after discussions at the National Coronavirus Command Council and with Premiers, mayors and traditional leaders in the President’s Coordinating Council.

Public gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 500 people outdoors while indoor meetings will be held with no more than 50 percent of the venue’s capacity.

“These measures will be reviewed in two weeks’ time depending on the state of the pandemic,” said President Ramaphosa.

He added that people are still required to wear face coverings in public spaces and maintain social distancing.

South Africa recorded 3,961 new COVID-19 infections from a sample size of 35,965 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative caseload to 2,858,195.

The figures were published by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, 126 new fatalities were recorded in the same period, bringing the country’s total virus-related deaths to 84,877.

South Africa is the hardest-hit country by the pandemic in Africa, accounting for 35.62 percent of the continent’s caseload and 41.83 percent of its death toll.

The continent has so far confirmed 8,024,502 Covid-19 cases according to data by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the African Union, said the death toll from the pandemic across the continent stands at 202,915, while some 7,302,535 patients across the continent have recovered from the disease so far.

South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Ethiopia are among the countries with the most cases in the continent, according to the agency.

Like many other nations across the continent, South Africa has embarked on a rigorous mass vaccination exercise in efforts to contain the spread of the virus. So far, more than 14.67 million doses of vaccines have been administered.

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