Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Government hopeful lift on curfew will remain but watching Covid-19 infection rates closely

By Ntombi Nkosi Time of article published Dec 31, 2021

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Pretoria – Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele says the government hopes that its decision to lift the curfew would remain in place for the next few weeks.

On Thursday, the Cabinet agreed to scrap the midnight curfew restriction, ahead of New Year’s Eve.

In a statement released on Thursday evening, the Cabinet said the information that had been gathered by the National Department of Health reported a 29.7% decrease in the number of new Covid-19 cases, and that all indicators were that the country “may have passed the peak of the fourth wave at national level”.

Therefore, the changes made to the adjusted level 1 are:

∎ The curfew is lifted and there will be no restrictions on the hours in which people can move around.

∎ Gatherings are restricted to no more than 1 000 people indoors and 2 000 people outdoors.

∎ Alcohol establishments that have licences to operate beyond 11pm will go back to full-licence conditions.

“The biggest challenge is that we are trying to balance livelihoods and saving lives, at all times. We tried to adjust that balance, given the current circumstances today.

“It is the view of experts that the Omicron variant has reached its peak and is not expected to go beyond the peak. And below that peak the clinical manifestations have not led to a significant change in the hospital load,” said Gungubele.

“The key is what do we do with the economy which is struggling? Our attempt is to exploit every opportunity to open up the economy. Our hope is that the curfew will stay lifted; we will monitor the circumstances and if at any given point and time the condition so desires, the curfew will be reinstated,” he said.

“We hope our people will take advantage of this, including business, and ensure that the conditions for bringing back the curfew do not arise.”

Gungubele also emphasised that people must ensure they wear their masks, sanitise, adhere to social distancing, and vaccinate at a higher rate… Adhere to all the necessary measures, failing which the curfew will be reinstated.

“We are hoping it never comes back. We will watch the situation,” he said.

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Political Bureau

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