South Africa: Vaccination Roll-Out 'Too Slow' Says Ramaphosa, Announcing Move to Level 1 Lockdown

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa announces that the country is moving to Adjusted Alert Level 1 on September 30, 2021.
analysis

Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have been eased as President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced a move to Level 1. Further freedoms and an estimated 20,000 lives depend on whether millions more people decide to get vaccinated.

South Africa's vaccination programme must rapidly accelerate to save lives, boost economic recovery and allow citizens to enjoy more freedoms, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday evening while announcing a move to lockdown Level 1.

Under the new regulations, which took effect overnight, curfew lasts from midnight to 4am, restaurants, bars and stores can sell alcohol as per their licences up until 11pm, and attendance at indoor gatherings has been raised from 250 to 750 and at outdoor events from 500 to 2,000. Maximum funeral attendance has been raised from 50 to 100 while "after tears" events are still banned.

The return to Level 1 follows the official end of South Africa's third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. After reaching peak daily infection rates of more than 20,000 during the third wave, which lasted longer than the first and second waves, the country's seven-day rolling average infection rate has fallen to 1,800. There have been corresponding drops in hospitalisations and deaths.

The president emphasised that...

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