A move back to level 1 means extended curfew for restaurants

President Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Thursday 30 September to share updated news of South Africa’s vaccination campaign and the measures to be taken to open up the economy. He said that even though there are enough doses of the vaccine for the population, the number of people getting vaccinated has been too slow. In order to change this, the government is launching its “Vooma Vaccination Weekends” campaign on Friday, 1 October.

The campaign aims to assist people who cannot get to a vaccination site during the workweek by opening various ones around the country to reach over half a million people. A reminder that the vaccination is free to everyone living in South Africa, whether you are a South African citizen or from another country.

The president also moved the country from adjusted level 2 lockdown to alert level 1 with the easing of restrictions. Restaurants can now close at 11pm as the hours of the curfew have changed, from 12am to 4am. The sale of alcohol – for both off-site and on-site consumption – is permitted, according to normal licence provisions. However, no alcohol may be sold after 11pm. The maximum number of people permitted to gather indoors will increase from 250 to 750.

Rosemary Anderson, FEDHASA (national trade association for the hospitality industry) National Chairperson, says: “With the new curfew times and the number of patrons we can now accommodate, the tourism and hospitality sector gets the green light to resume our operations in a responsible but financially viable way.”

The Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) is commencing on a national roadshow on Tuesday next week during which they will be visiting 500 restaurants to better understand the impact of COVID-19, including how many jobs have been lost to date. Its CEO, Wendy Alberts, told City Press: “When we move to level 1 like this, we can only believe this is going to help restaurants and bring a lot of our people back to our beautiful establishments.”

The president also noted in his address that The Department of Health will be rolling out a vaccination certificate, which can be used to provide proof of vaccination status. He said that this approach was informed by the World Health Organization’s guidelines and is in line with international best practices.

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