South Africa will remain on Level 1 lockdown restrictions as it continues to fight against the coronavirus pandemic which has killed over 52,000 people in the country since last March, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.The president said this when he addressed the nation Tuesday night to urge his compatriots to continue adhering to the health protocols and the prescribed restrictions ahead of the Easter, Ramadan and Passover holidays in April.
Ramaphosa said the midnight to 4am curfew would remain in place, while beaches, parks and dams would remain open till further notice subject to very strict observance of the health protocols, and so would inter-regional travel.
A minor change, however, was the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption which has been prohibited starting from Friday, Saturday, Sunday and on Monday (2-5 April), he added.
During the night TV broadcast, the president said funerals remained restricted to a maximum of 100 people, with a two-hour limit on services, and no night vigils, while church services would be allowed to have 250 to 500 people in indoor gatherings per session.
But where the worshipping venues were small in size, then 50 people remained the maximum capacity for such gatherings, Ramaphosa said.
The president said that the country had experienced struggles as well as triumphs in its fight against the Covid-19 in the past year.
This, however, should not discourage South Africans from persevering with the fight against the deadly disease, he said.
He added: “What has perhaps been most difficult of all is how the pandemic has affected the social interactions that make us feel part of a community.”
“We miss the many things we once took for granted, like being able to visit our loved ones, go to a party, or attend religious services,” the president said.
The bright side of the struggle, he noted, was that for the past two weeks the number of new Covid-19 cases had remained relatively stable at around 1,200 new one daily.
“The number of hospitalisations is declining as is the number of deaths. Our national recovery rate stands at slightly higher than 95 percent,” he said.