CORONAVIRUS

South Africa coronavirus curfew: what are the restrictions?

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide curfew on Sunday amid rising coronavirus figures in the country.

South Africa coronavirus curfew: what are the restrictions?
POOL New REUTERS

Amid surging coronavirus numbers in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said the country will remain at lockdown level three, but has imposed a curfew.

South Africa reported 12,058 new cases on Sunday, taking its national total to 276,242, while 108 fresh fatalities raised the death toll to 4,079.

"500 new infections every hour"

Speaking directly to the nation on Sunday, Ramaphosa noted that South Africa's daily case count has risen to "an equivalent of 500 new infections every hour", and said a quarter of the country’s deaths had come in the past week alone.

With experts warning that there could be up to 40,000 to 50,000 fatalities in South Africa, he added: "We can and must change the course of this pandemic."

South Africa curfew: how it will work

Starting on Monday, South Africans will be confined to their homes between 21:00 and 04:00 SAST, as part of a nationwide curfew that will be in effect seven days a week until further notice.

Only those travelling to and from work or seeking medical help will be exempt from the stay-at-home order.

Alcohol ban reinstated

Ramaphosa also announced that a ban on alcohol sales is to be reintroduced in a bid to keep more hospital beds available to treat coronavirus patients.

Since the ban was lifted on 1 June, he said, alcohol-related violence and accidents have increased pressure on hospital capacity.

"This is a fight to save every life, and we need to save every bed," Ramaphosa declared. "The coronavirus storm is far fiercer and more destructive than any we have known."

Coronavirus pandemic: live coverage

You can follow live, Africa-focused coverage of the coronavirus crisis with our rolling feed dedicated to the continent.