Yes, it’s this fun charade again: The ‘when’ question… President Ramaphosa has confirmed that Level 1 of lockdown will begin in the next few days, announcing that the latest changes would come into effect at ‘midnight on Sunday’.
Midnight mystery: Ramaphosa confirms lockdown shift
We have asked Cyril, several times now, to please use a different phrase. Alas, he forged ahead with this on Wednesday:
“Following consultations with provincial and local government representatives, and drawing on the advice of scientists and engagements with various stakeholders, Cabinet decided this morning that the country should move to alert Level 1. The move to alert Level 1 will take effect from midnight on Sunday 20 September 2020.”
‘Is it Sunday or Monday?’ – Here’s when Level 1 of lockdown begins
It has been the subject of much derision during the entire course of lockdown. Announcing that the rules will change at midnight on a certain day often leads to confusion, given that midnight on Sunday could be interpreted as either the beginning or end of the day. Thankfully, we got a little clarity from the Presidency’s Twitter account…
Posting a series of updates to accompany Ramaphosa’s speech to the nation, they have confirmed that the changes actually come into effect from the first minute of Monday 21 September (at 00:01).
Although we have managed to control the virus through strict lockdown measures, the threat of a ‘second wave’ of infections remains. Vital precautionary measures must be maintained to prevent a new spike in COVID-19 cases. pic.twitter.com/Onk2bHZzqe
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) September 16, 2020
What changes at Level 1 of lockdown?
Ramaphosa announced a whole spate of changes would take place from the beginning of next week: International borders will open, alcohol sales will be extended, the curfew will be shortened, and rules of social gatherings are set for relaxation.
However, with curfew still in place between 00:00 – 4:00 during Level 1 of lockdown, any immediate celebrations to usher in this new alert phase will have to wait a little while longer. You can read more about the changes here.