SA to move to level 1 lockdown as vaccine rollout ramps up

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President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation this evening to provide an update with regard to the country’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

He also confirmed that the country will now move from adjusted level 3 lockdown to alert level 1 lockdown, as the National Department of Health (NDoH) begins to ramp up its rollout of vaccines over the coming weeks and months.

Ramaphosa noted that the second batch of Johnson & Johnson single jab vaccines arrived in the country over the weekend, with an additional 80 000 doses earmarked for frontline healthcare workers. The country is expected to receive 11 million in total from the company, with 20 million to come from Pfizer and 12 million secured via the Covax system. The amount of vaccines that will be allocated to South Africa via the African Union, is yet to be disclosed.

At this stage, government plans to begin the second phase of the rollout in April/May, where essential workers, the elderly and those with comorbidity will be prioritised.

As for the switch to the new alert level, the president says that curfew has changed, with it starting at midnight in the evening until 4:00 in the morning. The sale of alcohol is once again permitted, with the exception of curfew hours and the wearing of masks in all public spaces is still mandatory.

All gatherings have been permitted again under the new alert level 1 lockdown too, but a 50 percent venue capacity must be present, as well as all healthcare protocols needing to be adhered to.

You can watch SABC News’ coverage of the president’s address below.


[Image – CC BY-ND 2.0 GovernmentZA on Flickr]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.