President Cyril Ramaphosa has delivered an upbeat address to the nation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, announcing a return to Level 1 of the lockdown, adding that the vaccine rollout has gone extremely well. He was addressing the nation on Sunday evening.

The President says South Africa has clearly emerged from the second wave of coronavirus.   

Under Level 1, the curfew starts at midnight and ends at 4am.  

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

Night vigils after funerals are still not permitted.  

Alcohol sales are allowed in normal trading hours but are not allowed during curfew hours.   

The 33 land border posts that have been closed throughout this period will remain closed, while the other 20 will remain open,” Ramaphosa says.  

Five airports will be open

Only five airports will be open for international travel with standard infection control measures. These are OR Tambo, Cape Town, King Shaka, Kruger Mpumalanga and Lanseria airports. 

President Ramaphosa says people must still adhere to protocols like wearing masks, which remain mandatory. 

’11 million vaccine doses’ 

Ramaphosa says South Africa has secured 11 million COVID-19 vaccine doses with Johnson & Johnson. “2.8 million of those doses will be delivered in the second quarter, with the rest spread over the rest of the year.”

Over 67 000 healthcare workers have already been vaccinated. 

The President says the success of the vaccine rollout shows what can be achieved when South Africans work together.  He says South Africa has clearly emerged from the second wave of the coronavirus.  

Ramaphosa says this is mainly because people adhere to protocols. But he has warned of the new variant. 

The new variant – known as 501Y.v2 – is now the dominant variant in the country. Because the new variant is transmitted more easily, it has the potential to infect more people, place a greater strain on our health system and lead to a greater loss of life. Therefore, social distancing is even more critical,” says Ramaphosa. 

President Ramaphosa addresses the Nation on COVID-19 response: