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President Cyril Ramaphosa on alcohol ban and spiritual gatherings restrictions ease

Presidential speech: Ramaphosa gives a final speech prior festive seasons with nationwide restrictions, 11pm to 4am curfew added on level 1

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His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa gave a speech last night, with which to guide South Africans throughout Covid-19 level one (1) restrictions implemented nationwide.

South African found itself in a second wave of Covid-19 which requires precautionary measures if we are to curb and minimise the spread of the virus.

Ramaphosa find it best, to put in place restrictions applicable to particular events. We see limitations in public gatherings including church related catherings

“Gatherings including religious gatherings may not be attended by more than one hundred (100) people for indoor events and two-hundred and fifty (250) for outdoor events. At all times, and particularly in small venues, the total number of people in a venue may not exceed more than fifty percent (50%) of the capacity of the venue. All gatherings must include adequate ventilation,” addressed Ramaphosa.

He went ahead to say that people must show that social distancing is adhered to.

“There must be wearing of masks and provision of hand sanitisers,” he said.

Ramaphosa says due to the rampid increment of Covid-19 cases, there must be restrictions to those attending funerals, “after tears parties are prohibited.”

He addressed the challenge of humongous crowds flocking to the beaches and on the parks over the festive season.

“In areas of high infections, beaches and public parks will be closed for the duration of festive season, from the 16 of December to the 3rd of January. This will apply specifically to, all of the Eastern Cape as well as the Garden Bruit District in the Western Cape,” voiced out the President.

Less restrictions will take place in KwaZulu-Natal when contrasted to Eastern Cape and Western Cape. Prohibitions of the public space in KZN will be in place during the busiest times, and afterwards will open.

“In KwaZulu-Natal beaches and public parks – this will be closed on what are traditionally, the busiest days of the season. These days are the 16th of December, the 25th, the 26th, the 31st December as well as the 1st, and the 2nd and the 3rd of January 2021. The beaches and public parks of the Northern Cape and the Western Cape with exception of the Garden Route will open to the public over the festive season,” said President Ramaphosa.

He saw the need to prohibit “festivals, live music, live performances at beaches.”

Specific beaches will be closed whilst beaches and public parks that will be open over the festive season, must only be opened interval 9am and 6pm. And the places will be monitored on daily basis by the local officials to ensure that people are adhering to the regulatory measures with which to contain the spread of the Coronavirus as well as those who will be drinking.

Parks where regulatory measures are already in place, will remain open.

“This is the trying situation for all of us, but it requires constant attention. I have directed that all members of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and key personnel should be on standby to ensure constant monitoring and assessment of the situation countrywide throughout this festive season… All of them should be on standby… to be able to meet with immediate effect if the situation in the country deteriorate, and should the situation deteriorate, further action will be taken to protect our people

The president says the third area of focus is to curb super-spreader events and also focus on reducing the burden on healthcare system that might arise due to irresponsible alcohol consumption.

The following measures will be implanted as highlighted by His Excellency;

  1. The hours of the curfew will commence at 11pm until 4am.
  2. Non essential establishment such as restaurants operating at night are urged to close by 10pm so that their patrons or workers can go home prior 11pm.
  3. Gatherings taking the whole night are prohibited.
  4. Resale of alcohol will be permitted from 10am until 4pm, only from Monday to Thursday. Leaving out registered wineries and wine farms as they are permitted to offer testing and so forth over the weekend. because of their significant contribution to the tourism of the country and several segments.
  5. No alcohol at public places such as beaches and parks.
  6. No congregation without proper controls or observation of the restrictions.

The hours of the curfew applies to Christmas and New Year’s Eve, changing our usual ways of clebrting this festive seasons.

The aforementioned restrictions would be reviewed early January 2021, based on the development of curbing or containing the virus across the country.

The need to save lives and protection of livelihood is the major focus in this trying times.

Ramaphosa said the initial application of level of the lockdown was to lessen the divarication of the spread so that they will be able to prepare the healthcare system in the country, of which emerge unnecessary to apply now.

“Through the hard work of our healthcare workers, public servants, medical experts and scientific advisors, we have marshalled all of our resources to protect the people of South Africa, and to provie care to those who need it,” said the President.

Ramaphosa said the actions of South Africans with the measures they have put to fight Covid-19, saved many lives. and it is best to comply with the restrictions as to contain the second wave.

“Now we must protect the gains we have made and work together to contain the second wave… We must act based on the scientific evidence that is available to us. Just as our doctors, nurses and frontline workers are working tirelessly to protect us, we must work tirelessly to protect them as well,” said Cyril.

Over 38 thousand healthcare workers in the public sector have tested positive of Covid-19, of which almost 5 thousands were admitted to hospital and unfortunately, 391 of them lost their lives.

“As a nation, we owe so much to this brave and dedicated people [public healthcare workers] and to their families, for without them we would not come this far. As we confront the second wave of infections, we must do everything we can to support and protect our health workers,” he added.

The President pleads with South Africans to please act now, and adhere to the precautionary measures or protocols.

He says every person must wear a mask in public space, try to remain indoors, and shun from putting the mask on the chin or taking it (the mask) off or lowering when talking to someone, and avoiding travel where necessary, or if one travels must do so safely.