Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has defended the government’s decision to persist with a night curfew.
Dlamini Zuma outlined the regulations that will govern level 1 of the national lockdown on Friday. The new regulations come into effect on Monday.
On the question why the government was continuing to implement a night curfew, which has now been moved to between midnight and 4am, Dlamini Zuma said there was still some concern over people gathering in spaces for too long.
She used the examples of tavern and bars and said as people consume alcohol and stay in an area for a long time, they would often become relaxed in following health protocols such as social distancing and wearing of masks.
The minister said international precedence had shown that in some countries opening up too quickly did see a rise in cases, and caution was needed to allow for a measured reopening.
On why alcohol sales were prohibited on the weekend, she said the government was being cautious in allowing for alcohol sales because a rush to reopen could have devastating effects.
On the issue of international travel, which resumes on October 1, Dlamini Zuma said all countries in Africa who’s citizens wished to travel to South Africa could do so, but that some countries outside the continent would be limited.
There is no published list of which countries will be not allowed, but Dlamini Zuma said the minister responsible for the portfolio would outline the restricted countries soon.
International travellers will have to produce 72-hour certificates which state that they are free of the coronavirus. If a traveller can not produce this certificate, then they will have to be subjected to quarantine protocol at their own expense.
The restrictions on certain countries would not be permanent but would depend on reported cases in a region at any given time.
Only three international airports will be operational: OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka in Durban.
Dlamini Zuma also noted concerns about some people relaxing adherence regarding the wearing of masks in public. She said she would stop using the words “post-Covid”, which gave a bad impression that the virus was over.
She warned that the virus does not move, but is moved by people.
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