South Africa will further relax lockdown regulations, with cinemas allowed to re-open, subject to stringent rules, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised address on Wednesday. He didn’t say when the new rules will take effect.
“Following further discussions with industry representatives … and after advice from scientists and consultations with our premiers and discussions with the National Coronavirus Command Council, we have agreed to ease restrictions on other economic activities,” the president said.
These include sit-down meals in restaurants, accredited and licensed accommodation – though home-sharing services like Airbnb are still not allowed – and conferences and meetings for business purposes.
Casinos, hairdressers and barbers, and cinemas and theatres can also re-open, Ramaphosa said. Non-contact sports such as tennis, golf and cricket will also be allowed. Contact sports are still banned, expect for training. Strict health protocols will be required for all these activities.
“We have taken this decision with due care and seriousness, appreciating the risks associated with each activity and the measures needed to manage these risks. These industries employ well over half a million people,” the president said.
‘Near the beginning’
He announced that South Africa now has over 80 000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, of whom 55% have recovered. Deaths stand at 1 674.
Ramaphosa warned that South Africa is “still near the beginning of this pandemic” and said it will “be with us for many more months, and possibly years”.
“Nearly a third of all confirmed cases have been recorded in the past week alone. Half of all confirmed cases have been recorded in the past two weeks,” he said, adding that the Western Cape accounts for 60% of all infections.
The president, in his speech, also railed against the scourge of gender-based violence, describing it as another war that South Africa must win. — © 2020 NewsCentral Media