Unhappy new year: Cyril Ramaphosa puts SA under adjusted level 3 lockdown

Johannesburg – South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has banned the sale of alcohol and placed the entire country under level 3 lockdown.

The second wave of Covid-19 in South Africa is sweeping across the country, while citizens enjoy the festive period, the country has now recorded over one million Covid-19 cases since Sunday evening.

“We have now breached one million cumulative COVID-19 cases in South Africa. We must adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions to prevent the further spread of the virus,” the Department of Health said on Sunday.

Along with the harsh measures, he also closed all beaches, public swimming pools, rivers, dams and ponds for swimming.

This comes after the country has reached alarming levels as it battles against the second wave of Covid-19.

Also read: 336 new Covid-19 related deaths reported

New coronavirus hotspots have also been declared. The new hotspots are:

He also announced a new curfew, starting at 9pm and will end at 6am.

A strict alcohol ban was also implemented as the president said that whenever bans on alcohol sales were lifted or eased, there was a spike of trauma related incidents that healthcare officials had to deal with.

He said the country is at a stage where most health care officials needs to focus on  Covid-19 cases, as lives need to be saved.

The president said that citizens have not been adhering to safety protocols and announced there will be consequences for those who break the safety guidelines.

Ramaphosa said that ministers will be announcing further details on the new measures soon and the lockdown will last for the next 14 days and the state of the pandemic in the country will be monitored at adjusted at a later date if need be.

Watch the president emotional plea for citizens to follow safety protocols below: 

The president also announced that the arrival of the vaccine in South Africa will arrive in the country in the second quarter of next year.

Ramaphosa said during his address, “The stark reality is that every single district in this country has the potential to become a hotspot unless we observe the current preventative measures. Night clubs & businesses engaged in the sale and transportation of liquor will not be allowed to operate. The Level 3 restrictions will remain in place until 15 January 2021. These measures will be reviewed at that time on the basis of the state of the pandemic in the country.”

The president also asked South Africans to celebrate the new year in a different way this year.

He said, “There have been a number of suggestions in social media that Instead of fireworks, let us each light a candle. Let us each light a candle in memory of those who have lost their lives, in tribute to those on the frontline working to protect us, in appreciation of great sacrifices that have been made, and in the confidence that the year ahead will bring health, peace & hope to our people. I will light a candle in Cape Town at exactly midnight on New Year’s Eve in memory of those who have lost their lives and in tribute to those who are on the frontline working to save our lives and protect us from harm.”

Click here to read the full address from the president here

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