South Africa will move to Level 1 of lockdown on September 21, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during a briefing on September 16. He has also opened borders from October 1, for inbound and outbound international leisure travel – with restrictions.
The country will gradually and cautiously return to international travel from October 1 but will be restricted to and from certain countries with high infection rates, Ramaphosa said.
The King Shaka, OR Tambo and Cape Town International airports will be open for international flights.
On arrival, travellers must present a negative COVID-19 test from no longer than 72 hours prior to departure. Those who do not, will be put under mandatory quarantine at their own cost. Travellers will be screened and those presenting symptoms must also quarantined.
‘It is time to move to what we will call our new normal,’ Ramaphosa said. ‘It is time to remove as many restrictions on the economic and social activity as it is safe to do.’
The curfew has also been relaxed, and will now be from midnight to 4am and alcohol will be sold from retailers from Monday to Friday and on-site until midnight.
From March 2020, over 15 000 people in the country have died due to the virus and over 650,000 infections were recorded. South Africa’s infection rate is steadily decreasing, but Ramaphosa emphasised the necessity to avoid a second wave of the virus.
He also encouraged citizens to download the new coronavirus tracking app called ‘COVID Alert South Africa‘, which will aid in effective tracing should a user be exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
More details will be provided by relevant Ministers in the following weeks.
Image credit: Screenshot from live briefing