Western Cape Prime Minister Alan Winde has said the province needs to move to Alert Level 1 as soon as possible as it becomes clear that it is emerging from its third wave of Covid-19 infections.
The move would provide much needed support to the economy and allow it to strike the right balance to save both lives and jobs in the province, he said in a statement Wednesday (September 22).
“The Western Cape is also calling for an end to the national state of disaster. The national government cannot use this extreme tool indefinitely, especially if we are to grow the economy and create the jobs our country needs to recover.
“That is why I will ask the national government for a clear plan for its termination, with fixed deadlines,” he said.
It is not justifiable to impose restrictions on the economy, especially at a time when we face a terrifying unemployment crisis and the data clearly shows that the healthcare platform has a capacity to more than sufficient response, Winde said.
“These restrictions must therefore be relaxed as soon as possible. “
Health Minister Joe Phaahla said last week that South Africa was seeing a drop in the third wave of its Covid-19 cases and that the government was considering further easing the lockdown restrictions.
Speaking to the media on Friday, September 17, Phaahla said some of the relaxed restrictions could include:
- An evening curfew at midnight;
- Alcohol would be permitted to be sold for off-site consumption on a Saturday;
- More leisure activities will be allowed to reopen.
Professional services firm PwC has said it expects a move to Level 1 foreclosure from early October.
Current containment rules
South Africa is currently under Adjusted Lockdown Level 2, with the following restrictions in place:
- Curfew hours are 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Non-essential establishments such as bars and gyms must close at 10 p.m. to allow staff to return home.
- All gatherings are limited to 250 people indoors, while gatherings outdoors are limited to 500 people. When the venue is too small to accommodate this number of people, then no more than 50% of the floor space can be used.
- The sale of alcohol for off-site consumption is permitted from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Alcohol consumption on site is subject to authorization until 10 p.m. Funerals remain limited to a maximum of 50 people and, as before, night vigils, gatherings after funerals and “after tears” gatherings are not permitted.
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