South Africa will move to a level 3 lockdown on 1 June 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday evening.
Ramaphosa was addressing South Africans on developments in our country’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of COVID-19.
Lockdown Level 5 was introduced in South Africa on 26 March 2020. Monday marks 60 days since the lockdown began.
“The implementation of alert level 3 from the beginning of June will involve the return to operation of most sectors of the economy, subject to observance of strict health protocols and social distancing rules,” said Ramaphosa.
He added that over time, however, through our efforts, it will be possible to place areas where infections are low at levels 2 or 1.
“Should it be necessary, any part of the country could be returned to alert levels 4 or 5 if the spread of infection is not contained despite our interventions and there is a risk of our health facilities being overwhelmed.”
“As we enter the next stage of our COVID-19 response, government will focus on careful monitoring, dealing with hotspot areas & measures to protect frontline workers & the most vulnerable members of society,” said Ramaphosa.
He said the government will link each hotspot to testing services, isolation facilities, quarantine facilities, treatment, hospital beds and contact tracing.
Ramaphosa said there is a massive global effort to develop a vaccine, of which South Africa is part.
“We have argued that should a vaccine be developed anywhere in the world it should be made freely and equitably available to citizens of all countries. As scientists had predicted, the infections in our country have now started to rise sharply,” he said.
“Until there is a vaccine available to all, the coronavirus will continue to spread in our population. This means that we must get used to living with the coronavirus for some time to come.
“We will use the skills, expertise, infrastructure and organisations within the vaccines industry to produce and distribute the vaccine.”