Ramaphosa klaps festive season to combat Covid crisis

South Africa’s beachgoers are used to ocean waves, but the second wave of Covid-19 infections that has come crashing down will keep many people away from the water this year.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced stricter regulations on Monday night to “reduce the risk of super-spreading events”. These included extending the national curfew and closing beaches in the Eastern Cape, on the Garden Route and in KwaZulu-Natal.

Addressing the nation on Monday night, Ramaphosa announced that:

  • Beaches and public parks in the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route will be closed from 16 December to 3 January.
  • In KwaZulu-Natal, these venues will be closed on what are “traditionally the busiest days of the season” – the 16th, 25th, 26th and 31st of December 2020 and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of January 2021.
  • Festivals, live music, and live performances at beaches are prohibited. Beaches and parks that are open to the public will only be open between 9am and 6pm.
  • Bottle stores will only be allowed to sell alcohol from Monday to Thursday from 10am to 6pm.
  • The national curfew has been extended from 11pm to 4am. 
  • Non-essential establishments, including restaurants and bars, will have to close at 10pm so that staff and patrons could get home before the enforcement of the curfew.
  • The total number of people in a venue may not exceed more than 50% of the capacity of the venue.
  • All gatherings must include adequate ventilation, social distancing, wearing of masks and provision of hand-sanitiser.
  • All post-funeral gatherings, including ‘after-tears’ parties, are prohibited.

Ramaphosa added: “Alcohol consumption in all public spaces, such as beaches and parks, is strictly forbidden.”

He said after Health minister Dr Zwelini Mkhize had visited the Sarah Baartman and Garden Route districts, Cabinet declared them coronavirus hotspots.

They join Nelson Mandela Bay, and will have the same additional restrictions from midnight on Monday.

Picture source: @PresidencyZA