President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on 11 July following a 14-day adjusted alert level-4 lockdown. The restrictions in this level-4 meant that restaurants were banned from selling alcohol and serving sit-down guests. These regulations were reconsidered and new adjustments have been made. The country will remain in adjusted alert level-4 until 25th July.
“As things stand now, infections remain extremely high,” said President Ramaphosa. He urged South Africans to spread the word that the vaccine does work.
Last week acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced that 35-49 year olds can register for vaccination from July 15. No word has been made yet on whether restaurant workers would be prioritized as was stated in January by then Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.
“Behind the closed restaurant doors and ‘for sale’ signs are thousands of livelihoods that have already been lost and hang in the balance. Every day restaurants are forced to bear the brunt of lockdown regulations,” said Rosemary Anderson, National Chairperson of The Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa. “Beyond this, the hospitality sector supports a deep supply chain that is similarly affected.”
While the president said that many restrictions would remain in place like the 9pm-4am curfew and the ban on alcohol sales, there was one big adjustment that will give those in the hospitality industry a better chance of earning an income.
Restaurants will now be able to operate by offering sit-down service while observing strict health protocols – allowing 50 people at a time in their vicinity and for smaller venues, no more their 50% of their normal capacity.
It remains mandatory to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth whenever you are in public.
Keep a distance
Wear a mask
Wash your hands