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BREAKING: National lockdown update

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BREAKING: National lockdown update

We’re still at level 3 with added restrictions to protect frontline workers

Latest update: Thursday 14 January, 2021

South Africa remains on level 3 alert as the country continues to see an increase in coronavirus cases, President Cyril Ramaphosa said this week. New regulations have been added primarily to ease the strain on healthcare professionals. On a positive note, President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined the roll-out of South Africa's Covid-19 vaccines, which are expected to be delivered in the first half of this year. 

LOCKDOWN LEVEL 3: RESTRICTIONS 

The country will remain in alert level 3, taking effect from midnight on Monday, 11 January 2021. Most of the restrictions announced in December 2020 will remain. 

  • Most indoor and outdoor social, religious and political gatherings will not be permitted. Traditional council meetings and gatherings at sports grounds will not be allowed. 

  • New curfew hours will start from 9pm until 5am. All non-essential establishments, such as restaurants and bars, need to close by 8pm. 

  • Alcohol sales are banned in retail stores. On-site alcohol consumption will not be permitted, and no alcohol consumption will be allowed in public spaces. 

  • Beaches, lakes, dams, rivers, public swimming pools and parks in the country's hotspots (in the Western Cape, the West Coast District, Overberg District, Winelands District, Cape Town, Central Karoo District) are banned.

  • Wearing a mask is compulsory when in public spaces. Not wearing a mask in public could get you a fine or in jail.

ADJUSTED LEVEL 3: RESTRICTIONS FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT

To combat the rise of Covid-19 infections and reduce congestion, Cabinet has closed all 20 land ports of entry until 15 February for general entry and departure. This includes six of the busiest border posts: Beitbridge, Lebombo, Maseru Bridge, Oshoek, Ficksburg and Kopfontein. However, there are exceptions for people travelling under alert level 3

 

501.V2: WHAT DOES THE NEW COVID-19 STRAIN MEAN?

President Cyril Ramaphosa stated in his address on 11 January that “(r)esearch undertaken by our scientists has shown that the massive increase in infections is largely driven by a variant of the coronavirus known as 501.v2.” This strain was first identified in South Africa in November and is found to spread much faster than the earlier strains. However, “this new variant does not cause more severe illness than the original variants”, said Ramaphosa. We can prevent the new transmission with the same measures we’ve been using to protect ourselves. Plus, South Africa will see an exciting new roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine in the first half of this year, which will be a game-changer.  

SOUTH AFRICA WILL EMBARK ON A 3-PART COVID-19 VACCINE STRATEGY

The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine will be "the largest and most complex logistical undertaking in our country's history", says Ramaphosa. It will be far more extensive than our current HIV treatment plan and in it will be three vital phases.

"The first part of our strategy is to acquire enough vaccine doses to reach herd immunity," says Ramaphosa. To date, South Africa has secured 20 million vaccine doses to be delivered in the first half of this year. 

The second part of the strategy is to "identify the priority groups that need to be vaccinated as we receive vaccine doses throughout the year", says Ramaphosa. These will include front-line healthcare workers, essential workers, municipal workers, other front-line personnel and people in institutions like nursing homes, prisons and shelters. Also, people over the age of 60 and adults with comorbidities will receive preference. As the year goes on and we receive an increase of vaccine supplies, Ramaphosa hopes to vaccinate the rest of the adult population. 

The third and last part of the vaccine strategy will be to distribute the vaccines throughout the country and to those who are in need. 

DOWNLOAD THE CONTACT TRACING APP

There is an app available that uses no data to download and alert you if you have been exposed to the virus. Everyone with a smartphone can download the contact tracing app

 

WATCH: CYRIL RAMAPHOSA’S FULL ADDRESS FROM 28 DECEMBER

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The situation is ever-changing and our team is committed to bringing you all the latest updates on COVID-19 in Cape Town

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