South Africa imposes stricter lockdown as COVID-19 cases increase

By Kaveesha Fernando

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CWBN)_ On Tuesday (December 29), South Africa’s National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) detailed the guidelines which have been decided upon in order to impose a level 3 lockdown to curb the rising cases of COVID-19.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma stated at a virtual media briefing that the country finds itself in a grave situation as COVID-19 infections continue to rise. “Last night, the President warned us of the dangers. He warned us that we have to stick to the health protocols and change our behaviour,” Dlamini-Zuma said, referring to the comments made by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday (December 28) during a speech at which the president announced that the nation’s level 1 lockdown would be reverted back to a level 3 lockdown.

Explaining that the regulations weren’t exactly new, Dlamini-Zuma stated that citizens would be restricted to their place of residence from 9 pm to 6 am daily, while wearing masks would be mandatory in public places. “Government doesn’t want to arrest anyone. Please just wear your mask. [It is] not the aim of [the] government to take people to prison,” she said.

The minister also revealed that those flouting the curfew would be committing an offence for which they would be liable for a fine or imprisonment of up to six months or both. All cinemas, theatres, casinos, museums, galleries and archives, gyms and fitness centres, restaurants, venues hosting auctions and venues hosting professional sport are now to be closed at 8 pm regardless of whether they are indoors or outdoors. Only 100 persons can gather indoors, but the venue must be big enough for the persons inside to observe a distance of 1.5 meters from each other. If this is not possible, only 50% of the total capacity of the venue can be used. Similarly, guidelines for other places and gatherings such as funerals, beaches, game parks and hotels and international travel were also detailed

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