President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that as of Midnight on Monday, 17th of August all restrictions on inter-provincial travel will be lifted. Accommodations and venues for live music will be permitted to operate according to approved regulations. Restaurants, bars and taverns will be permitted to operate according to approved protocols. Suspension of sales of tobacco will be lifted. The sale of alcohol will be permitted for onsite consumption in licensed establishments only up to 22:00. Offsite consumption sales will only be permitted from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 09:00 to 17:00 only.
Many of the field hospitals that were erected by the South African government to combat the expected infection rate of the Covid-19 virus, now stand empty. President Ramaphosa said that the national lockdown has been a success as the infection rate of the virus has now started dropping drastically. According to him, the last five months proved that South Africa’s health system is capable of managing a global outbreak.
“The risk of infection becomes greater as there are more opportunities for people to interact with each other. We therefore cannot become complacent and even the slightest lapse in our efforts may lead to a resurgence of the virus. The lower rate of the virus should lead to a relaxation of strict regulations, however we need to keep wearing cloth masks when we leave home. Social distancing must be enforced. Travel must remain limited.”