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SA placed on Alert Level 2, effective August 17 at midnight

Alcohol and tobacco products sales allowed, along with inter-provincial travel. Certain restrictions remain.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the whole of South Africa will move to Alert Level 2, as of August 17, 2020 at midnight. This after five months of being in a national state of disaster, instituted to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The national state of disaster is extended to September 15, 2020, “to keep the remaining restrictions in place and to maintain some of the essential elements of our health response.”

Nearly all of the restrictions on the resumption of economic activity across most industries can now be removed.

Lifted restrictions:

  • All restrictions on inter-provincial travel will be lifted.
  • Accommodation, hospitality venues and tours will be permitted according to approved protocols to ensure social distancing.
  • Restaurants, bars and taverns will be permitted to operate according to approved protocols as to times of operation and numbers of people.
  • Restrictions on the sale of tobacco will be lifted.
  • The suspension of the sale of alcohol will be lifted subject to certain restrictions:
    Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 10pm.
    Liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 9am to 5pm only.
  • Restrictions on family and social visits will also be lifted, although everyone is urged to exercise extreme caution and undertake such visits only if necessary.

Still restricted:

  • Current restrictions on international travel remain in place.
  • No gatherings of more than 50 people will be permitted.
  • Spectators aren’t permitted at sporting events.
  • The curfew remains in place between 10pm and 4am.

Regarding family and social visits, he said social distancing should be observed, masks continue to be worn and special care taken to protect the elderly and people with underlying conditions. He encouraged staying at home and for those who could, to work from home – especially those over the age of 60 or who have underlying conditions.

Recovery plan

The social partners in the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) – including government, labour, business and community – convened on Thursday and Ramaphosa said it’s now working together “on an urgent economic recovery programme that places the protection and creation of employment at its centre.”

He said announcements on the outcome will be made in the next few weeks.

Read: Task team set up to finalise urgent economic recovery plan

Earlier this week, Cosatu’s parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks said proposals by the social partners will be consolidated into one position, that will form the basis for the economic recovery trajectory for the country.

This is expected to be complete in the next three weeks, after which the social partners will hold a meeting to consider and adopt the plan. The plan will then be presented to cabinet. In a statement on Thursday, The Presidency said the team will focus on job creation, having a sectoral approach, prioritising infrastructure, energy security and working on the bottlenecks to economic growth.

Covid-19 stats

The president said “all indications are that South Africa has reached the peak and moved beyond the inflection point of the curve,” with the number of new confirmed cases dropping over the last three weeks from a peak of over 12 000 a day to an average over the past week of around 5 000 a day.

The cumulative number of cases is at 583 653, and 11 667 people are confirmed to have died from the virus.

However, the recovery rate has risen to 80% and the number of active cases is now around 105 000 and “declining every day”. He said the virus seems to have peaked in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and possibly KwaZulu-Natal.

“Fewer people are requiring admission in our hospitals and the demand for coronavirus tests has dropped. The number of patients hospitalised has decreased from 10 000 at the beginning of the month to around 4 000. This is significantly reducing the pressure on our health facilities,” said Ramaphosa.

He noted that on request from the health minister, the World Health Organisation has sent 43 experts to South Africa to assist local health professionals. “They are already providing help with regard to epidemiological analysis, infection control, incident management and community engagement.”

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There are a few good and necessary Covid habits that should stay in place long after the end of disaster management, namely:
– wearing a face mask in public places, shops, at events, etc;
– compulsory hand sanitation at all entrances to public facilities,
shops, gatherings, etc.
– continuation of a 1m or preferably a 2m social distancing between
people;
– continuation of time control regarding alcohol sales (it would be
good for human behaviour to keep alcohol container sales’ outlets
closed after 16h00 on a business day, from a Friday 15h00 up to a
Monday 12h00 and on public holidays – even though it might still be
obtainable from illegal underworld operators; and
– the continuous upgrading of health facilities and care centres.

So in your bizarre world only the jobless may buy alcohol, while other people work. In civilized countries people buy a bottle of wine after work with the ingredients for their dinner. Stupid paternalistic laws create stupid behaviour. These booze laws mimicked Apartheid laws which banned the sale of liquor to blacks (NDZ code word for “black” was “the poor”) on the basis that they are too childlike and irresponsible to be trusted with it. Never has a government insulted its citizens more than with this blatant disrespect.

All due respects, you sound like a control freak

And where is the medical factual evidence face masks for the public made any real difference

Where us the evidence that restricted hours to purchase ale, wine and spirits will make any difference

What you are suggesting is the continuation of governance by fear. Something akin to governments of past

People have endured enough house arrests on the fear fabricated by celebrity scientists and power drunk politicians

France, I suggest you apply your rules to yourself and let ADULTS decide for themselves.

On Tuesday I will be investing in alcohol and tobacco because I don’t trust ANYONE in government. Once bitten twice shy.

Go to bed and dream up some more rules applicable to YOU.

Leah Buchanan,

Use of face masks for the general population is debated in the media and by health authorities / scientists. So “where is the medical factual evidence face masks for the public made any real difference?” Freely available on Google Scholar (searches links to published research works – not those of “celebrity scientists”, but those from the ‘trenches’).

From a 2013 study: “Masks significantly reduced the number of microorganisms expelled by volunteers. Surgical masks were 3 times more effective in blocking transmission than homemade masks. A homemade mask should be considered a last resort to prevent droplet transmission from infected individuals, but it would be better than no protection”. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;0:1–6)

From this year: “At the moment, although there is consensus that SARS-CoV-2 mainly spreads through large droplets and contact, debate continues about the role of aerosol.There is consistent, convincing evidence that most (but not all) cloth masks reduce droplet and aerosol transmission. Applying the ideas of uncertainty and risk to this question, it is our opinion that community wearing of cloth masks is likely to be a useful adjunct to the public health interventions of physical distancing and hand hygiene.” (comment from Clase et al. 2020. Cloth Masks May Prevent Transmission of COVID-19: An Evidence-Based, Risk-Based Approach. Annals of Internal Medicine.)

And finally…
Physical distancing of 1 m or more was associated with a much lower risk of infection, as was use of face masks (including N95 respirators, surgical or cotton or gauze masks) and eye protection (e.g, goggles or face shields).
C Raina MacIntyre, Quanyi Wang
Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection for prevention of COVID-19. The Lancet, July 2020, Pages 1950-1951

I agree: masks are a pain and I look forward to get rid of mine. But there is justification for their use, and they don’t kill the economy, contrary to the other policies.

COMMENT HELD FOR MODERATION (otherwise known as petty-minded censorship)
15 AUGUST 2020 @ 9:55 PM
The vulnerable or anyone can be assisted to prepare their immune system for defense against any contamination quite easily. The word is out that if Trump can take zinc and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and remain free from infection then anyone can and if their immune system can then avoid the infection like non-vulnerable do then they are not able to infect others. The HCQ can be replaced with Quercetin or green tea for use as a prophylactic, these alternatives do not need prescription. Don’t ask me why this is such a secret because my answer is potentially libelous.

I think some of you lack critical thinking skills… nowhere did France say these should become law…. he clearly said “habits”, which imply personal choice

@ Bajben30 Re critical thinking skills: Of France’s five bullet points above, only the first and third can be classified as “habits”. The others are all all external rules, laws, directives, diktats, call them what you want. You are welcome.

Like Trump yes.

On your list – i did not see what nights we are allowed to watch TV? Also do i have to wear my face mask in the pool and shower, or only driving alone in my car?

Really? If you can’t formulate a constructive response, why bother?

Well said France. Some great rules for a better and more progressive society. Alcohol is fun but people abuse it in a lot of situations! We pray for a better and more united society. Thank you for the courage to go for greater convictions when people will condemn you for their selfish and self destructive habits!

We must become the greatest nation that people admire!

is that you, Donald?

France- you’re also into looney tunes?

France, you can walk around with your stupid mask if you want to. I hate it and besides I don’t live in Beijing with 20,4 million people.

Logically, there will of course be different personal preferences and opinions – some well argued and some . . . well sort of off the point and even nonsensical. This current 2020 Covid winter, I believe from chemists retail statistics, South Aficans experienced a very low infection rate of the ordinary annual flue. Surely the voluntary or personal choice of the majority of S.A. citizens to (abide by) wearing face-masks, regular hands sanitisation, and somewhat cooperation with social distancing must have contributed to such low infection rate? That by itself indicates that certain voluntary health habits are worth while to continue practising – but then again as usual for others not.

Ohhhhh shut the hell up you imbecile. Who cares . Stop acting like such a baby just to get people to respond

Can the Cuban contingent go home now?

With lots of our tax money.

Haha I wish. I’m sure they got paid upfront. Oh well. Hopefully they can assist our country in some way. We can always learn from intelligent foreigners!

I hope you are married and have all the kids you want…..seperation control ia the ultimate in birth control…if your still single hard luck buddy…
My last class i gave them yesterday on how to loot on level 2 is that they need to look out for tye big contracts…and a friend win the tender and then sell the contract….the best person to speak to ia Ace….he skimmed 10% on top of every tender awarded in the frew statw when he was there

How will the government looting of state funds work during Lockdown Level 2 ?

I’m asking because I need to decide how much provisional tax I will pay on 31 August.

Danie – there’s many ways to kill a cat.

Those ANC cadres receiving bags of cash in Jozi can now transport it cross border to their home villages without fear of favour.

Can somebody please let Mr. Parks know he represents an organization that forms part of an corrupt, thieving alliance that will be voted out in the next elections.

#VoetsekANC #VoetsekCOSATU

Parks waffles worse than CR.

Yes we can learn from INTLLEGENT foreigners. The you have just contradicted your greatest country comment.

Enjoy the confusion.

Im glad some businesses can start operating again.A ice cold draught will work!

Cyril probably can’t stand losing billions more from cigarettes and alchoholic.

When is midnight on Monday?

23.59 is Sunday night, 00.01 is Monday.When is midnight, and on which day does it fall, in theory it is neither Sunday or Monday, it is a fleeting transitional moment.

Typical cANCer. Can’t even be clear about a date and time but exact details and methodologies (with no consequences) are known how to loot.

Can anybody tell me with certainty, will I be able to buy alcohol or cigarettes (do not smoke, just asking) on monday or on tuesday. They made the same stupid statement the last time, but refuse to learn.

Are you kidding me??? Can’t you work out time?

There are two cases at the airport I see.

If we are still at the peak, then why the opening up?

I suggest we give the one suitcase to NDZ. She can fly anywhere, as long as it is not in South Africa. Any suggestions for the second suitcase?

Please fly, crash and burn.

So pubs and restaurants can serve alcohol until 10pm, but that’s precisely when the curfew begins. They’d better get their hands on some sleeping bags, PDQ. And just what IS the point of the curfew, anyway?

Hotel guests can stay in the pub until 10, then upstairs to bed.

The point of the curfew is so that our incredibly efficient police force can catch the baddies without getting confused as to who they must arrest. Those without face masks or surfing or the one who is doing crime. They already have arrested 300000 for petty lockdown offences, but not one from the Mandela funeral.

Seems like I am not the only one who can not count time. The confusion was so widespread that COGTA had to clear it up through the news media. Well, it is the midnight between monday and tuesday, so I can buy my beer legally on tuesday morning at 9.

“When is midnight on Monday?
23.59 is Sunday night, 00.01 is Monday.When is midnight, and on which day does it fall, in theory it is neither Sunday or Monday, it is a fleeting transitional moment.”

Hallo?
Ever heard of 24:00?
Yes thats between 23:59 and 00:01

Which midnight is it this time? Very early monday or very late tuesday? Some websites are saying the ban is lifted on Monday

I think it is the midnight between monday and tuesday. Remember, his utter slow and inefficient comrades must still have time to publish the new regulations. I doubt if they will work on a sunday.

Only when they banned alcohol did they work on Sunday. The spiteful glee they must have felt, gave them the energy.

End of comments.

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