South Africa, which had one of the first tighter blockades in the world, has announced a further reduction in measures against coronavirus.
From September 20, the curfew will be reduced during the night, meetings will be allowed at 50% of the capacity of a local and alcohol will be sold again.
said President Cyril Ramaphosa in a televised speech to the nation.
But the rules on social distancing and the use of masks will be maintained.
South Africa, which closed on March 27, has so far reported more than 650,000 confirmed infections, with more than 15,000 dead.
However, the number of new cases has dropped from about 12,000 daily in July to less than 2,000.
What did President Ramaphosa say?
“Now is the time to return our country, its people and our economy to a more normal situation, which is more like the life we were living six months ago,” Ramaphosa said.
“It’s time to move on to what will be our new normal as long as the coronavirus is with us.”
The president announced that, after consultations with health experts and officials from across South Africa, the country would lower its current alert from level 2 to level 1 from midnight on 20 September.
- Social, religious, political and other gatherings will be allowed, as long as the number of people does not exceed 50% of the normal capacity of a venue, up to a maximum of 250 people inside and 500 in the Open air
- The maximum number of people who can attend a funeral increases from 50 to 100
- Exercise, recreation and entertainment venues (such as gyms and theaters), currently limited to 50 people, can accommodate up to 50% of the capacity of your venue.
- The national curfew from 10pm to 4am will start two hours later
- Alcohol is allowed for on-site consumption in authorized establishments
South Africa closed its borders as the protagonist of the closure, but President Ramaphose said international travel would resume from 1 October. Those arriving in South Africa must present a negative coronavirus test performed within three days of the trip.
Ramaphosa also said a new stimulus package was being worked out to rebuild an economy that has been wild by the blockade.