Joy as government eases lockdown level 1 restrictions – Here is what you need to know

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Cabinet approved the further easing of lockdown level 1 restrictions, saying that it appeared that the country had passed the peak of the fourth COVID-19 wave.

The government has lifted the COVID-19 curfew with immediate effect and approved further changes to level 1 lockdown following a special Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Cabinet approved the further easing of lockdown level 1 restrictions, saying that it appeared that the country had passed the peak of the fourth COVID-19 wave.

The lifting of curfew, which had been from midnight to 4am, comes after business owners and those in the hospitality sector pushed to have it lifted in time for New Year's Eve celebrations. The Democratic Alliance (DA) also backed the call.

Government in a statement on Thursday night said that the Health Department had reported a 29.7% decrease in the number of new COVID cases detected in the week ending on Christmas Day compared to the week before. Cases declined in all provinces except for the Western Cape (14% increase) and the Eastern Cape (18% increase) while there had also been a drop in hospital admissions in all provinces except for the Western Cape. The data means that South Africa had spare capacity to admit patients for routine health services.

Based on the data and the trajectory of the pandemic, government said that Cabinet had decided to further ease level 1 restrictions.

The number of people now permitted at indoor gatherings rises from 750 to 1,000 while the number of people permitted at outdoor gatherings remains at 2,000.

Alcohol establishments are now permitted to operate beyond 11pm provided they are licenced to do so.

The wearing of masks in public remains a requirement and the failure to do so is still a criminal offence, the government said.

"South Africans are urged to continue observing basic health protocols to prevent the transmission of the virus.

Vaccination remains the best defence against severe illness, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19. All people in South Africa who have not yet done so are encouraged to vaccinated as soon as possible. This includes people who are eligible for booster shots," the government said in its statement.

It added that the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) would continue to monitor the situation and would make further adjustments as required, particularly if pressure on the healthcare system increased.

– EWN


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