Government has approved changes to the Adjusted Alert Level 1 COVID-19 regulations including lifting the curfew ahead of the new year.
The changes follows meetings of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) on Thursday which received updates on the 4th wave of COVID-19 driven by the Omicron variant.
The Health Department said there has been a decline of Coronavirus infections and all indicators suggest the country may have passed the peak of the fourth wave at a national level.
“Based on the trajectory of the pandemic, the levels of vaccination in the country and the available capacity within the health sector, Cabinet has decided to make the following changes to Adjusted Alert Level 1 with immediate effect:
- The curfew will be lifted. There will therefore be no restrictions on the hours of movement of people.
- Gatherings are restricted to no more than 1 000 people indoors and no more than 2 000 people outdoors. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used. All other restrictions remain in place.
- Alcohol establishments that have licences to operate beyond 23h00 will revert back to full licence conditions.
The NCCC said it will continue to closely monitor the situation and will make further adjustments as necessary, particularly if pressure on health facilities increases.
It said the wearing of masks in public places is still mandatory, and failure to wear a mask when required remains a criminal offence.
“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.”
The NCCC said parents must support their children aged 12 years and older to vaccinate before schools open.