GAUTENG GROUNDED AS LOCKDOWN AXE FALLS

Arthur Greene

President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved Covid restrictions to Level 4.

As the third wave of infections sweeps across South Africa – and Gauteng in particular – the new rules kick in on Monday 28 June. For now they will last 14 days.

The measures are nationwide, but because of the scale of the crisis in Gauteng, it has a special travel ban.

Nationwide new measures include:

  • All gatherings will be prohibited, including political, religious, cultural and social gatherings.
  • Funerals and cremations will be limited to 50 people and social distancing must be observed. Night vigils will not be permitted.
  • Public spaces such as beaches and parks will remain open, but gatherings there will be forbidden.
  • Curfew will be in place from 9pm – 4am.
  • All non essential establishments will need to close by 4pm.
  • The sale of alcohol will be prohibited.
  • Visits to old age homes will be restricted.
  • Restaurants and eateries will only be permitted to sell food for takeaway or delivery.
  • Closure of schools and other institutions will be brought forward to Wednesday. All schools will be closed by Friday.
  • Contact classes at tertiary institutions will end by Wednesday.
  • It remains a criminal offence NOT to wear a face mask in public.
  • All employees must allow their workers to work from home wherever possible.

In Gauteng:

  • Travel in and out of Gauteng for leisure purposes will be prohibited.
    • If you’re not in your place of residence, you will be allowed to travel into or out of Gauteng.

In his address, Ramaphosa opened with a warning about the Delta variant, which was first detected in India.

He said that the variant, which is thought to be up to twice as contagious as previous variants of Covid-19, is fast becoming the country’s dominant variant.

“The evidence we have is that the Delta variant is rapidly displacing the Beta variant which has been dominant in our country until now. We are concerned about the rapid spread of this variant,” said the president in the televised address.

Ramaphosa said that the Delta variant has so far been detected in five provinces: Eastern Cape, the Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

Medics have said that they have been warning government about the devastation of the third wave, with one Gauteng nurse warning last week: “If Gauteng doesn’t go back to level five, there will be bodies all over.”

Image source: @Anathy_buddha