by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned the nation against complacency as the country moves to alert level 2 of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown at midnight on Monday.
Level 2 will see many restrictions lifted, five months after the lockdown was imposed, at level 5.
The president said while the move to the lowest level to date was a relief to all South Africans who have had to live under stringent restrictions for the recent months, and was an important development in restarting the economy, it was too soon to celebrate.
“We are still very much in the middle of a deadly pandemic that has taken over 11 000 lives in South Africa alone,” he reminded.
Ramaphosa also reminded that at more than half a million confirmed cases, South Africa still had the fifth highest number of infections in the world.
“And there is always a chance of a resurgence of the disease,” he cautioned.
The president used the example of New Zealand, which was back under lockdown three months after since that country was declared coronavirus-free.
Similar restrictions have had to be re-imposed in several parts of Europe as they experienced a ‘second wave’ of infections.
“These experiences show just how swiftly things can change when it comes to COVID-19,” Ramaphosa said.
He warned that the move to alert level 2 of the lockdown was not a ‘free for all.’
“The rules on social distancing, mask wearing, social gatherings and international travel remain.”
Among other changes, the prohibition on the sale of alcohol and tobacco has been lifted.
Inter-provincial travel is also permitted.
However, international travel and attendance of sporting events remain banned.
– CAJ News