President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved the country to Alert Level 1 of the lockdown effective on Sunday night. He was addressing the nation on the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ramaphosa says the country has finally emerged from the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Alert Level 1, wearing masks will remain mandatory with curfew starting at midnight and ending at 4am in the morning.

Gatherings will be allowed but limited to 100 people indoors and 250 people outdoors among others.

Vaccination

The President says 67 000 people – mainly healthcare workers – have been vaccinated. Another 80 000 Johnson and Johnson vaccines arrived in the country on Saturday.

Ramaphosa says phase II of the coronavirus vaccine rollout is expected to take place from late April with the elderly and essential workers among those to get the jab.

President Ramaphosa addresses the nation: 

Reactions 

South African political parties have reacted to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the country will move to Level 1 of the coronavirus lockdown following the first leg of the vaccinations on healthcare workers across the country.

The Democratic Alliance has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that South Africa will now move to Level 1 of the coronavirus lockdown – a move which has seen some easing of restrictions.

DA leader John Steenhuisen says there still needs to be more clarity on the rollout of the vaccines.

IFP’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa has also welcomed the announcement saying the country needs to be reopened so that the economy can start to roll again.

However, the Freedom Front Plus has criticised the handling of the coronavirus vaccination programme, saying the government will fail to meet its target of inoculating of 40 million South Africans by the end of this year.

The party’s leader Pieter Groenewald says he is concerned.

The EFF has also criticised the vaccination programme with the party’s Head of Presidency Sinawo Thambo saying President Ramaphosa has no reason to celebrate because the vaccination programme still has a long way to go.

Political parties’ reactions as SA returns to lockdown level 1: