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KZN and Eastern Cape beaches to close

As the country struggles with the second wave of Covid-19 infections.
‘No point wearing a mask on your chin’ – President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: GCIS

Prepare for a subdued Christmas. This was the message from President Cyril Ramaphosa as he reintroduced tighter controls following a rapid rise in Covid-19 infections and deaths over the past few weeks, after several “super-spreader” events.

Ramaphosa, in an address on Monday, cautioned that given the rate of new infections over the last two weeks, there was a possibility that if the government did not act urgently “the second wave will be more severe than the first wave”.

He pointed to events where young people gather as one of the drivers of the spike in infections.

“The recent post-matric Rage Festival event in Ballito is a harsh reminder of how dangerous large gatherings can be,” he said.

“We now know that nearly 1 000 young people from Gauteng who attended the event have tested positive for the coronavirus. What we don’t yet know is how many more people each of them has infected.

“It is said that up to 300 families could, in turn, have been infected.”

The following restrictions have been enforced with immediate effect:

  • Curfew from 23:00 to 04:00 (the curfew will not apply to essential workers);
  • Restaurants and taverns will have to close by 22:00
  • Alcohol sales will be restricted to between 10:00 and 18:00 Monday to Thursday;
  • Alcohol consumption in all public spaces, such as beaches and parks, is strictly forbidden;
  • Religious gatherings limited to 100 indoor, 250 outdoor;
  • The total number of people in a venue may not exceed more than 50% of the capacity of the venue; and
  • Post-funeral gatherings are now prohibited.

When it comes to beaches, the government took a “differentiated approach” where all beaches in the Eastern Cape as well as those in the Garden Route District in the Western Cape will be closed from December 16 to January 3.

In KwaZulu-Natal, beaches will be closed on December 16, 25, 26 and 31 as well as January 1, 2 and 3.

“The beaches and public parks in Northern Cape and the Western Cape – with the exception of the Garden Route – will remain open to the public over the festive season.”

The increase in infections will see the Sarah Baartman District and the Garden Route District fall under the same more restrictive restrictions that were imposed on Nelson Mandela Bay almost two weeks ago.

Harsh punishments

Aside from tighter restrictions, the president said there would also be stricter enforcement of existing Level 1 Covid-19 regulations. If businesses do not enforce the regulations, business owners could face harsh penalties.

“The responsible individuals who do not ensure compliance with the regulations by their passengers, customers or employees will be liable to a fine or to imprisonment of up to six months.”

Ramaphosa also called on South Africans to do their bit to combat the spread of the deadly virus by wearing a mask properly.

“There is no point wearing a mask on your chin, keeping it in your pocket or lowering it to speak to someone.”

Vaccine wait

There was little new news as to when a vaccine will be distributed in SA, aside from Ramaphosa saying that the country has concluded “all the necessary processes to ensure its participation in the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Global Vaccine Access Facility”.

The initial vaccines are expected cover 10% of the population in the early part of next year.

The African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team has been set up and is looking at innovative partnerships with the private sector to ensure that South Africans have access to an effective vaccine that is suitable for our conditions.

Despite these initiatives, Ramaphosa warned that there is still a long road ahead.

“The next few weeks are going to be a great test of our determination and restraint.”

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So, I can sit in a restaurant with 99 other people, or go to a funeral with 249 other people but I cannot go to a 5 km long Wild coast beach with a few other people all spaced out.

I seem to be missing something here.

I had a look at the “covid hotspot” maps and the beaches do not even factor into the equation there — So what is the EFFING point ???

Frustrate the tourists ?????

Penny Sparrow would tell you that not all beaches have kilometers of open space. Close to towns, they are very much as she described them. So if you closed urban beaches, the crowds would simply move a few kilometers down the road.

Here you have it. Also sprach der Frogboiler . Just a pity that the tests are highly unreliable and lots of money that should have been used combating the ” plandemic ” went into the usual corrupt channels. No word about that.

And so the tourism sector will suffer another blow !!!

I for one am getting popcorn. This isn’t March, and people are not scared anymore. It’s not only the few permanent Herolds Bay residents that can’t go on their weekly parkrun, but thousands of “high rent paying, gatvol of 2020, just paid thousands to fly down to George” people who want to bodysurf and tan.

If we don’t have a taxi type revolt by the non taxi type residents of SA over the next few weeks, we never will.

So with everyone in the garden route for holidays camping or whatever going to just keep their children away from public waterparks/beaches for 2 weeks? These restrictions are too late upon the holiday season.

100 good things the President said goes unnoticed; and you concentrate on the one.

Lets bite the bullet and bring the numbers down. If you spot businesses and place that are not adhering; report to the authorities. Be part of the solution.

Muks, what will the authorities do? Close them, arrest them???? Really.

I just worked out, my local police station has 7 beaches to monitor with 5 policemen/woman and 1 pick up truck and 2 cars.

This means 1 per beach with 2 beaches un monitored.

Where will the vehicles be stationed if they are functional?

Who mans the station and arrests the assaults and rapes in the suburbs.

For once I think poor Beke Cele is saying, “What the ***” Cyril what did I do to deserve this.

@pwgg I know the police will not be able to enforce these instruction 100%. However if each of us listen to our “guardian” angel; I know we will stay away. Just do the sensible things; that is all the President is conveying.

Those that want to do otherwise will face the law ; if and when the police arrives.

Do us all a favour and move to North Korea. Seems to have the kind of regime you prefer. Snitch on neighbours and businesses? How utterley reprehensible and Orwellian.

@Griet. I will not waste my time on a reply.

The garden route beach closure is a thinly veiled political move. CR dare not close the whole of the WP, so he closed a portion. Now the DA cannot protest nor can his ANC thugs protest.

End of comments.

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