Easter Lockdown: Ramaphosa to address the nation – here’s what to expect

Easter Lockdown
Image: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

According to a report by the City Press, President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation soon regarding temporary Easter lockdown measures.

Ramaphose is expected to address the nation either on Sunday evening (28 March) or on Monday (29 March), according to City Press sources, once the ANC’s National Executive Committee has met.

Government spokesperson Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said that the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) has vetted proposals made by several advisory panels regarding the possibility of a third Covid-19 wave. Ntshavheni told City Press that the president would make an announcement once a decision had been made and that whatever decision is taken, it will be temporary.

Possible Easter Lockdown Restrictions

  • Curfew from either 22h00 or 23h00 to 04h00
  • Alcohol trade from Monday to Thursday, 10h00 to 18h00
  • Limiting gatherings to 50 people

Health experts and analysts are encouraging an Easter lockdown to level 1, warning that the holiday weekend will likely spur a third wave of the virus in South Africa, as people travel across provinces to spend time with family and attend mass religious gatherings.

Current projections for the third wave are between end-April and June but researchers at Nelson Mandela University 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.

Speaking to ENCA, MAC chair professor Barry Schoub said that “there is a vulnerability, a chance, a risk that we could see super spreader events with all the festivities and activities that go on over the weekend. So the advisory was for a temporary increase in restrictions over this period of time.”

Schoub confirmed that should the advice be taken by the government, a level 2 Easter lockdown would likely be instated only for the Easter weekend and perhaps a “little bit over that.”

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