Shift to level 1 a ‘welcomed move’


South Africa’s move to lockdown level 1 has been welcomed by all sectors of society including labour, business, civil society, and political formations, says Cabinet.

According to a Cabinet statement released on Thursday, the further opening of businesses will contribute immensely to rebuilding the economy, restoring growth, and creating much-needed jobs.

“The National State of Disaster regulations, which give effect to the announcements by the President, was gazetted on Friday, 18 September 2020.

“The new regulations eased certain restrictions implemented since March 2020 to prevent the spread of the virus,” said the Executive.

These include the permissible number of people at public gatherings, events, and funerals, as well as the opening of borders for travel within Africa and internationally, effective from 1 October 2020, among others.

Funerals can now have 100 people, up from the 50 allowed under level 2.

Religious gatherings such as churches are now allowed to house a maximum of 250 congregants no matter how big the venue is and this goes for other social gatherings too, such as weddings.

For outdoor gatherings, venues are not allowed to have more than 500 people, while gyms are now allowed to have 50% of the capacity of the venue.

South Africa moved to level 1 of the lockdown from midnight on Sunday, 20 September 2020.

Cabinet members have encouraged more engagement with traditional leaders to address issues related to initiation schools and practices that are still prohibited during level 1 of the lockdown.

Cabinet has urged all people in South Africa to continue observing COVID-19 health protocols such as maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask in public, and regularly washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

To date, South Africa has 667 049 COVID-19 cases and 16 283 deaths.

Cabinet has also urged the public to download the COVID Alert mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

The app, which has been zero-rated by mobile networks, can be downloaded without any data costs and is aimed at improving contact tracing by alerting users if they have been in close contact with others who have tested positive for the virus in the past 14 days.

The app does not gather any personal information or track a user’s location. –

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