BREAKING: Tough tier 3 restrictions for South Africa: Face masks now compulsory, Alcohol banned..Ramaphosa speech

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has imposed a strict tier 3 that limits  public gatherings, makes wearing of facemasks compulsory and bans consumption and distribution of alcohol. He mentioned that the consumption of alcohol in restaurants, in nightclubs and taverns has contributed to risky behaviour like not wearing masks and not observing social distancing.

Excessive alcohol consumption is also driving up the number of trauma cases in our hospitals.

He writes:

“Half our consultants have COVID.

“More than half my colleagues had COVID or are currently in quarantine.

“Hospital is FULL. No oxygen points. Private hospitals are FULL. Not accepting more patients. No beds anywhere.

“And this is not yet the peak.

“Guys. We are all going to pay for your inability to be responsible with our LIVES.”

 

Main points from his speech made late evening today, Monday:

Under the adjusted level 3 regulations:

  • All indoor and outdoor gatherings will be prohibited for 14 days from the date hereof, except for funerals and other limited exceptions as detailed in the regulations, such as restaurants, museums, gyms and casinos. These will further be set out by the Minister in regulations and will be reviewed after that period.
  • Funerals may not be attended by more than 50 people with social distancing. – Every business premises must determine the maximum number of staff and customers permitted at any one time based on our social-distancing guidelines and may not exceed that limit.
  • The nationwide curfew will be extended from 9pm to 6am. Apart from permitted workers and for medical and security emergencies, nobody is allowed outside their place of residence during curfew.
  • Non-essential establishments – including shops, restaurants, bars and all cultural venues – must close at 8pm. The list of these establishments will be released shortly.

From now on it is compulsory for every person to wear a mask in a public space. A person who does not wear a cloth mask covering over the nose and mouth in a public place will be committing an offence.

A person who does not wear a mask could be arrested and prosecuted. On conviction, they will be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both a fine and imprisonment.

This is a drastic measure but is now necessary to ensure compliance with the most basic of preventive measures.

 

  • The sale of alcohol from retail outlets and the on-site consumption of alcohol will not be permitted.
  • The prohibition on consuming alcohol in public spaces like parks and beaches remains.
  • Distribution and transportation will be prohibited with exceptions that will be explained by the minister.

These regulations may be reviewed within the next few weeks if we see a sustained decline in infections and hospital admissions.

Night clubs and businesses engaged in the sale and transportation of liquor will not be allowed to operate.

The Level 3 restrictions will remain in place until 15 January 2021.

These measures will be reviewed at that time on the basis of the state of the pandemic in the country.

On the recommendation of the National Coronavirus Command Council, and after consultation with provinces and metro mayors, Cabinet has decided to put the country on an adjusted Level 3 from Level 1 with immediate effect…Ramaphosa

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