President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa will move to adjusted lockdown level 2 from Monday.
The move follows an increase of 31% positive cases on the previous week and 66% increase on the week before that.
Ramaphosa says the increase in daily cases is following the same trajectory as it did at the start of the previous two waves. “We have seen in other countries the tragic consequences of allowing the virus to spread unchecked,” he says.
He says it’s a matter of time before the whole country has entered the third wave.
“Gatherings, funerals, camps, sporting activities and ‘after tears’ have become areas where the virus is spreading,” says the President.
A new curfew from 11pm to 4pm will also be in place.
“Bars, restaurants will have to close by 10pm. Gatherings limited to 100 indoors and 250 outdoors,” the President adds.
He says where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.
The President is urging owners and managers of public buildings, centres, shops, restaurants, taxis and buses to ensure that people on their premises or in their vehicles wear masks, and that the appropriate social distancing measures are in place.
He is also calling on South Africans to avoid unnecessary travel.
“We must remember that the virus does not move from place to place by itself; it relies on the movement of people. The less we travel, the less the virus is spread,” he says.
The President’s full address is in the video below:
Ramaphosa says over the last two weeks, over 480 000 people have received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine as part of the country’s public vaccination campaign.
He says the scheduled delivery of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines has, however, been delayed due to regulatory issues related to lack of adherence to proper standards at a manufacturing plant in the United States.
The President says the African continent is pushing ahead with efforts to expand its vaccine manufacturing capacity with a view to be self-sufficient in vaccine production.
“We are continuing to urge all countries to support a waiver of the TRIPS agreement at the World Trade Organisation so that COVID-19 vaccines and treatments can be produced on a greater scale, at lower cost and at a faster pace,” he says.
He says this includes 31 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a single-dose, and which will be manufactured here in South Africa. It includes 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses to provide full protection.
Interesting facts to keep in mind
Sunday’s address came exactly two months after the President kept South Africa at lockdown level 1 since the 1st of March 2021.
Before that, South Africa had been at its second lockdown level 3.
Today, Sunday 30 May 2021, is South Africa is:
- 14-and-a-half months under the National State of Disaster (since Sunday 15 March 2020);
- 430th day under various levels of lockdown (since Friday 27 March 2020); and
- 91st day under the second round of level 1 lockdown (since Monday 1 March 2021).