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You can party like it’s 2022! Government drops curfew, relaxes booze sales ahead of NYE celebrations

You can party like it’s 2022! Cabinet lifts restriction on movement after 12 midnight, allowing alcohol establishments to revert to full licence conditions and to operate beyond 11pm. File picture

You can party like it’s 2022! Cabinet lifts restriction on movement after 12 midnight, allowing alcohol establishments to revert to full licence conditions and to operate beyond 11pm. File picture

Published Dec 30, 2021

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Durban – Cabinet has agreed to scrap the midnight curfew restriction ahead of New Year's Day.

In a statement, Cabinet has confirmed that the curfew will be lifted. There will therefore be no restrictions on the hours of movement of people.

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Furthermore, gatherings are restricted to no more than 1 000 people indoors and no more than 2 000 people outdoors. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue may be used. All other restrictions remain in place.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Presidency said the risk of increase in infections is great given the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant. Government therefore calls on all organisers of these gatherings to ensure that all health protocols are observed at all times and that all attendees are encouraged to be vaccinated.

"Alcohol establishments that have licences to operate beyond 11pm will revert back to full licence conditions," Cabinet said.

The information gathered through the system used by the Department of Health has reported a 29.7 percent decrease in the number of new cases detected in the week ending 25 December 2021 (89 781), compared to the number of new cases detected in the previous week (127 753).

All indicators suggest the country may have passed the peak of the fourth wave at a national level.

Cases declined in all provinces except the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, which recorded increases of 14 percent and 18 percent, respectively. There has been a decline in hospital admissions in all provinces except the Western Cape.

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While the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, there have been lower rates of hospitalisation than in previous waves. This means that the country has a spare capacity for admission of patients even for routine health services. There is a marginal increase in the number of deaths in all the provinces.

The NCCC will continue to closely monitor the situation and will make further adjustments as necessary, particularly if pressure on health facilities increases.

The wearing of masks in public places is still mandatory, and failure to wear a mask when required remains a criminal offence.

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South Africans are urged to continue observing basic health protocols to prevent the transmission of the virus.

Vaccination remains the best defence against severe illness, hospitalisation and death from Covid-19. All people in South Africa who have not yet done so are encouraged to vaccinated as soon as possible. This includes people who are eligible for booster shots.

Parents are reminded to support their children aged 12 years and older to use this opportunity to vaccinate before schools open. This will avoid learners losing school time as a result of testing positive or as a result of contact with people infected with Covid-19.

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Government wishes to commend all South Africans who have observed the health regulations and protocols over the festive season. Government urges everyone to continue to act cautiously and responsibly over the new year and for the remainder of the holiday season.

IOL

Related Topics:

Covid-19Lockdown

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