South Africa to move to Lockdown Level 1

S. Africa to 'cautiously' reopen borders as lockdown eases

An unprecedented economic recovery plan set to be unveiled by South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa focuses on fighting graft, encouraging mining investment and boosting infrastructure investment.

With regards to social, religious and other gatherings, the amount of people within a venue is not allowed to exceed "50% of its normal capacity".

- Existing restrictions on sporting events remain in place: no spectators.

The President addressed South Africans on developments in the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, cabinet approved the extension of the COVID-19 national state of disaster to 15 October.

The president said the country had "succeeded in overcoming the worst" of its outbreak.

Attendance at exercise, recreation and entertainment venues must be capped at 50% capacity, up from a maximum of 50 people during Level 2 of the lockdown.

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"In preparation for the re-opening of our borders, South African missions overseas will open for visa applications and all long-term visas will be reinstated", Ramaphosa said.

Global travel in and out the country, for both business and leisure, will be allowed from 1 October.

- Health protocols, such as washing or sanitising of hands, social distancing and mask-wearing, will need to be strictly observed.

"If we do not allow (people from) certain countries to travel (here), there has to be a proper scientific, statistical explanation and modelling". Travellers will be limited to the three main airports and will be required to present a negative Covid-19 test done within 72 hours.

- Where a traveller has not done a Covid-19 test prior to departure, they will be required to remain in mandatory quarantine at their own cost.

The lockdown, one of the strictest in the world, dealt a severe blow to an already ailing economy and many livelihoods have been lost as a result.

"Although we have made remarkable progress, a number of our people are still getting infected and some are losing their lives", said Ramaphosa. "Our greatest challenge now - and our most important task - is to ensure that we do not experience a new surge in infections".

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