President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is seriously concerned that South Africans are not adhering to lockdown regulations, which are meant to protect them during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In his address to the nation on Sunday night on government’s adjusted strategy to contain the escalating COVID-19  pandemic in the country, the President said the National Command Council and Cabinet considered moving to higher alert levels because of the surge in infections. However, it was decided that this would cause great economic and social harm.

The President says he is aware of cases where people organise drinking parties, visit family, and refuse to wear masks – in direct violation of government directives.

“In some cases some people go to funerals where more than 1000 people are in attendance. This is how the virus is spread through carelessness and through recklessness. It is concerning that many are downplaying the seriousness of this virus despite all evidence to the contrary and what we have cautioned about on numerous occasions.”

Suspension of alcohol sales

The President also announced the immediate suspension of alcohol sales and the reintroduction of a curfew from nine at night to 4 o’clock in the morning.

The President urges citizens to take COVID-19 seriously and act responsibly:

The a risk-adjusted lockdown Level 3 restrictions include, among others, the following:

  • Parks will be open for exercise, but not for any form of gathering;
  • Family visits still banned;
  • Wearing of mask is mandatory;
  • The sale, dispensing and distributing of alcohol has been suspended with immediate effect;
  • The curfew will run from 21:00 to 04:00;
  • Taxis and Buses taking long trips will have to adhere to 70% occupancy. Taxis and Buses taking shorter trips may increase capacity to 100%, subject to strict health protocols;
  • Employers must provide every employees with a cloth face mask;
  • The sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e- cigarettes and related products is prohibited. –Additional reporting Wendy Mothata