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South Africa lifts COVID-19 nighttime curfew

South Africa lifts COVID-19 nighttime curfew
South Africa lifts COVID-19 nighttime curfew
Written by Harry Johnson

SA residents are still urged to follow “basic health protocols” as the government said that mask wearing was still mandatory in public places and a failure to do so would constitute a criminal offense.

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Officials in South Africa announced that the country’s government has ended COVID-19 nighttime curfew as of today.

“The curfew will be lifted. There will therefore be no restrictions on the hours of movement of people,” the government said in a statement, as it announced easing COVID-19 curbs following a “special cabinet meeting.”

The restrictions on people’s movements have been lifted, since the nation has passed the peak of its fourth COVID-19 wave, South African government said.

According to some reports, it was the first time the curfew had been lifted in almost two years, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Africa saw an almost 30% decrease in new cases in the week ending on December 25 compared to the previous one, the government statement said. It added that the number of the COVID-19 infections was also declining in all but two of its provinces, as was the case with hospitalizations as well, with the Western Cape being the sole exception.

“All indicators suggest the country may have passed the peak of the fourth wave at a national level,” the government statement said.

The update comes about a month after the new and highly transmissible Omicron strain of the COVID-19 virus was first identified in South Africa. Since then, the nation’s medics have repeatedly noted that the new variant caused lighter symptoms in South African patients.

Now, the government has also said that even though “the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, there have been lower rates of hospitalization than in previous waves.” 

South Africa also eased the limits on gatherings, raising them to 1,000 people indoors and up to 2,000 outdoors.

Liquor stores licensed to operate beyond 11:00pm (local time) were also allowed to “revert back to full license conditions.” 

SA residents are still urged to follow “basic health protocols” as the government said that mask wearing was still mandatory in public places and a failure to do so would constitute a criminal offense.

Last week, the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) estimated that 60% to 80% of South Africans had immunity to COVID-19, either through previous infection or vaccination. It also said that only around 10% of the total number of Covid-19 cases had been diagnosed nationwide, as most people infected with the virus never develop significant symptoms.

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for almost 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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