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On Tuesday night, 22 March 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that lockdown restrictions would be eased even further as of Wednesday, 23 March 2022.
“In deciding which restrictions to ease and which to keep in place, we are guided – as before – by the advice of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19,” he stated.
The President further noted that the government also looked to the experiences of other countries, including those where a surge has followed the complete lifting of restrictions in infections and deaths.
“Knowing that we have to enter a new phase in our management of the pandemic we took time to consult widely with various stakeholders, including religious bodies and traditional leaders.”
Based on those consultations and the recommendations of the National Coronavirus Command Council, Cabinet has decided to ease several restrictions as part of Adjusted Alert Level 1.
The restrictions on gatherings are significantly changed.
In previous regulations, the emphasis placed an upper limit on the number of people who could attend a gathering.
The approach from now on is that both indoor and outdoor venues can take up to 50% of their capacity. This is provided that the criteria for entrance are proof of vaccination or a COVID test not older than 72 hours.
But where there is no provision for proof of vaccination or a COVID test, then the current upper limit will remain – of 1,000 people indoors and 2,000 people outdoors.
The maximum number of people permitted at a funeral will increase from 100 to 200.
As before, night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.
It is mandatory to wear a cloth mask or similar covering over the nose and mouth when in public indoor spaces.
However, a mask is not required when outdoors. This means individuals do not need to wear masks when walking on the street or in an open space, exercising outdoors, or attending an outdoor gathering.
People still need to wear masks when in shops, malls, offices, factories, taxis, buses, trains or any other indoor public space.
The regulations on social distancing are also being changed, requiring that a space of 1 metre is maintained between persons in all settings except schools.
Travellers entering South Africa will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours.
All unvaccinated travellers entering the country who want to be vaccinated will be offered vaccination.
What are your thoughts on the updated regulations?
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