Alcohol banned for Easter

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Rumours of restrictions and a possible alcohol ban had South Africa anxiously awaiting confirmation of an Easter lockdown this week, and the wait is finally over.

Ramaphosa’s address tonight (Tuesday 30 March) follows days of meetings between the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC), and Cabinet.

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The parties met to discuss proposals made by several advisory panels about the possibility of a third Covid wave that could be triggered by Easter celebrations.

During his address, Ramaphosa discussed South Africa’s latest deal with Johnson & Johnson to secure 30 million doses. The vaccination rollout is scheduled to start in April and South Africans will be encouraged to register online but if a person is not able to so do, they can register in person. Ramaphosa also outlined the changes to current restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 over Easter.

Easter LockdownRamaphosa’s Address Key Points

  • The country will remain at alert level 1 lockdown
  • Curfew remains between 00.00 – 04.00
  • Parks, beaches and public spaces will remain open
  • Funerals allowed and restricted to 100 people for a 2-hr period
  • Interprovincial travel allowed during Easter
  • Alcohol for off-site consumption will be prohibited on Easter: Friday Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Alcohol for onsite consumption at restaurants will be allowed and is subject to the curfew.
  • Religious gatherings for Easter will be permitted and are limited to 200 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. These numbers are subject to venue capacity.

Current projections for a third wave are set between end-April and June but researchers at Nelson Mandela University recently warned that it could hit even sooner, with statistical data indicating that certain parts of the country could see a surge in infections by the end of March or early April.

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