In his national address just after 20:00 on Monday evening, Pres Cyril Ramaphosa declared that both the Garden Route in the Western Cape and the Sara Baartman District in the Eastern Cape hotspots, joining Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape, previously declared as such.
In addition to restrictions imposed on these areas, Ramaphosa announced that further restrictions, which would take effect at midnight, include the closing of beaches in the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route. Beaches in KwaZulu-Natal will be closed on December 16, 25-26 and 31, and January 1-3. Stricter requirements were listed for public transport operators who must ensure all passengers wear masks, and retail outlets and employers who must ensure that patrons and employees do the same.
Gatherings may only be attended by up to 100 people indoors and 250 outdoors, while the total number of people in venues may not exceed 50% of the venue’s capacity. All post- funeral gatherings are henceforth prohibited. In an attempt to curb the resurgence of Covid-19 and to curb super-spreader events, Ramaphosa enforced a lengthened curfew from 23:00 to 04:00. All non-essential venues such as restaurants and bars have to close at 22:00 to give everyone enough time to reach home before the curfew.
The consumption of alcohol in public places such as beaches and parks is prohibited. Alcohol may only be sold from 10:00 to 18:00 from Mondays to Thursdays, including New Year’s Eve. Regarding the vaccine, Ramaphosa stated that South Africa has applied to the World Health Organisation’s COVAX vaccine programme. South Africa is expected to receive initial vaccine rollouts early in 2021 that will reportedly serve 10% of the country’s citizens.