Ramaphosa plea to avoid closed spaces, crowded places and close contact
Durban - In a move to combat the spread of Covid-19, the cabinet has deemed that most indoor and outdoor gatherings will not be permitted.
This includes social and religious gatherings, political events, traditional council meetings and gatherings at sports grounds.
In his address to the nation on Monday, President Ramaphosa said that the country will remain on an adjusted level 3 lockdown – however, strict preventative measures have been put in place.
The president said South Africans should avoid the three Cs: closed spaces, crowded places and close contact with others.
Ramaphosa once again urged mourners to follow Covid-19 safety protocols at funerals. He said funerals have consistently been identified as so-called ’’super spreader’’ events.
Warning that funerals should not be attended by more than 50 people, he said the country was in a grip of a deadly pandemic and all these activities that would normally take place are just increasing exposure to risk.
"There will be a time when we can go to the home of the deceased to pay our respects, and to sympathise properly with our neighbours, friends and relatives," he said.
Ramaphosa further announced that 20 of the country's land ports of entry will be closed until February 15.
He said the decision was undertaken by the cabinet and will include six of the busiest land ports of entry: Beitbridge, Lebombo, Maseru Bridge, Oshoek, Ficksburg and Kopfontein.
He said one of the challenges that the government faced in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic was the congestion at the land border posts.
"This has exposed many people to infection as they wait to be processed and it has been difficult to ensure that the health requirements for entry into South Africa are met, with many people arriving without proof of Covid-19 tests," Ramaphosa said.
He added that people will still be allowed to enter or depart the country for the following:
- The transportation of fuel, cargo and goods
- Emergency medical attention for life-threatening conditions
- The return of South African nationals, permanent residents or persons with valid visas
- The departure of foreign nationals
- Daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend school in SA