The Health Department has confirmed that several major discussions have taken place this week, as the government prepares to make a dart to Level 1 of lockdown. Just a month after our last transition through the Alert Phases, a positive trend in low infection rates has continued throughout September.
When will South Africa change lockdown levels?
In a statement issued alongside the official COVID-19 figures for Monday, it was revealed that the evidence of a ‘sustained decline in transmission’ means that several restrictions will indeed be eased at some point in the near future:
“In previous statements relating to restrictions under the National State of Disaster, we committed to reviewing these periodically as we reassess the state of the South African epidemic. Having observed evidence that suggests a sustained decline in transmission, we have considered easing restrictions in various aspects [for Level 1].”
“Whatever decisions are made, it is important to emphasize that the risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19 still remains and that non-pharmaceutical intervention remain important as we learn to co-exist with the Coronavirus.”
What will change at Level 1 of lockdown?
Going by this latest update, it seems that four key areas are up for discussion. Should Cyril Ramaphosa gather us for a ‘family meeting’ in the next few days, we can expect these changes to come into effect before the month’s end:
- Curfew limits: The ban on movement between 22:00 – 4:00 is likely to be lifted.
- Alcohol sales: The days and hours for which liquor stores are allowed to open ‘will come under review’.
- Religious gatherings: Talks are ongoing to allow more than 50 people to attend events of worship.
- Travel restrictions: A move to Level 1 would all but guarantee the return of international travel for SA, in some shape or form.
Having observed evidence that suggests a sustained decline in #COVID19 transmission, @HealthZA has considered easing restrictions in various aspects- such as the curfew, sale of alcohol, religious gatherings, &travel restrictions- for the National Coronavirus Command Council pic.twitter.com/CLYe57gg8X
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) September 14, 2020