Johannesburg: The government has banned the distribution and sale of alcohol.
In his address last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the sale of liquor had led to high trauma in hospitals, stating that “in such a scenario, every piece of medical equipment, every hospital bed, every health-care worker, and every oxygen tank is needed to save lives and curb the further spread of Covid-19”.
According to President Ramaphosa, the level 3 lockdown regulations would remain in place until January 15, adding that these regulations would be reviewed at a later stage.
The new regulations include a new curfew that will be in place from 9pm to 6am.
Restaurants will also close at 8pm daily.
Indoor and outdoor activities have also been prohibited.
“We introduce adjusted level 3 lockdown with the intent to minimise the risk of super-spreader events and to decrease unsafe interaction. We also want to implement social distancing, the wearing of masks and hand sanitising,” Ramaphosa said.
The president further highlighted that the adjusted level 3 regulations served to keep the economy afloat.
He said businesses, with a few exceptions, may continue to operate as long as all relevant health protocols and social distancing measures were adhered to.
In addition to the regulations, a handful of areas have been declared as hot spots.
In the Eastern Cape, the Chris Hani District, Buffalo City, Amathole District, Alfred Nzo District and the OR Tambo District have been declared as hot spots.
These, Ramaphosa said, are in addition to Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and the Sarah Baartman District.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the eThekwini, Umgungundlovu District, Ugu District, Harry Gwala District, King Cetshwayo District and Ilembe District have been zoned as hot spots, while in Gauteng, the West Rand District, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg are now declared hot spots.
In the Western Cape, the West Coast District, Overberg District, Winelands District, Cape Town and Central Karoo District are hot spots. This is in addition to the Garden Route District.
In the North West, Bojanala District was declared a hot spot area and in Limpopo, the Waterberg District and the Capricorn District have been declared coronavirus hot spots.
In his impassioned plea, Ramaphosa said: “If we did not understand it before, we should now see just how quickly a situation can change for the worse. Our situation has changed for the worst.”
He further said: “We can, we will and we must defeat this pandemic,” adding this can only be done through a collective effort.
The government has also indicated that the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine was well under way.
“South Africa is part of the global pooled procurement initiative co-ordinated by Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, commonly known as Covax.
“We can confirm that we have signed off on the agreement with Covax and the Solidarity Fund has made the initial payment of R283 million to the facility,” Ramaphosa said.
“This New Year’s Eve will be different than we have ever seen before. Let us each light a candle in memory of those who have lost their lives, in tribute to those on the front line who are working tirelessly to protect us from harm, in appreciation of the great sacrifices that have been made this past year, and in the confidence that the year ahead will bring health, peace and hope to our people.”