'Someone check on Bheki Cele': Mzansi reacts to the lifting of lockdown curfew
South Africans have taken to Twitter to welcome the cabinet's decision to lift the Covid-19 curfew before New Year's Eve.
The curfew has been in place since the start of the lockdown in March 2020 to curb the spread of the virus.
On Thursday, the presidency said it decided to ease the restrictions because of the vaccination rollout and capacity in the health system.
“Based on the trajectory of the pandemic, the levels of vaccination in the country and the available capacity within the health sector, the cabinet decided to make these changes to adjusted alert level 1 with immediate effect:
- The curfew is lifted. There will be no restrictions on the hours of movement of people.
- 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, no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used. All other restrictions remain in place."
The announcement came after calls for the curfew to be lifted to allow people to usher in the new year.
DA leader John Steenhuisen said the curfew was unjustified and called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to lift it before Friday.
It was unclear if the government was going to respond, as police minister Bheki Cele was adamant the curfew would be in place.
Cele said on Thursday SA should not rush to ease the restrictions and police would arrest anyone found "loitering" during curfew.
“Police must make sure that they arrest those who break the law, because there is still a curfew. We will keep that maximum visibility on high alert. Those who are going to the beaches must go home before midnight, because if we find you loitering around at the beach you will get arrested," he said.
This is what Mzansi had to say about the lifting of the curfew: