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South Africa moves to lockdown level 2 with many restrictions lifted

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the country is moving to lockdown level 2 amid its battle with coronavirus.

FILE PHOTO: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visits the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment facilities at the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa April 24, 2020. Jerome Delay/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed his nation on Saturday to declare the country is moving to lockdown level 2 in its battle with Covid-19 as of Monday, which means that many restrictions including the alcohol ban will be lifted.

Restrictions eased in South Africa

Ramaphosa said that the country has witnessed an immensely tough five months, but reassured his people by adding that the country has made great progress in its battle against Covid-19.

He stated: "It has been an immensely difficult five months, and the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the health of our people, on families and communities, on the public health system, on the economy, and on people’s everyday lives.

"During this difficult period what all of us have longed for as South Africans most of all is to be healthy, restore our livelihoods, and rebuild our economy. I address you this evening amid signs of hope. We have made progress in our fight against Covid-19."

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Ramaphosa also declared that the number of new confirmed cases in the country has dropped down from a peak of more than 12,000 a day to an average around 5,000 a day over the past week, while the recovery rate has soared from 48% (as of Ramaphosa's last address) to 80% with the number of hospitalized patients plummeting from 10,000 (at the beginning of the month) to only 4,000, which takes a great deal of pressure off the healthcare system.

Therefore the president announced that new rules and regulations will be in enforce as of Monday;

Therefore, the following changes will take effect under level 2

All restrictions on interprovincial travel will be lifted.

Accommodation, hospitality venues, and tours will be permitted according to approved protocols to ensure social distancing.

Restaurants, bars, and taverns will be permitted to operate according to approved protocols as to times of operation and numbers of people.

Restrictions on the sale of tobacco will be lifted.

The suspension of the sale of alcohol will be lifted subject to certain restrictions.

Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 10 pm.

Liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 9 am to 5 pm only.

Restrictions on family and social visits will also be lifted, though everyone is urged to exercise extreme caution and undertake such visits only if necessary.


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