From international travel to a vaccine: 5 things you need to know from Ramaphosa's address

12 November 2020 - 11:22
President Cyril Ramphosa during his address to SA on Wednesday night.
President Cyril Ramphosa during his address to SA on Wednesday night.
Image: GCIS

International travellers wishing to come to SA can now do so, though this will be under stringent measures.

This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address to the nation on Wednesday evening.

Visitors will be required to produce a certificate of a negative Covid-19 test which is no older than 72 hours from the time of departure.

Restrictions on the sale of alcohol will also be eased. Licensed establishments will now be permitted to sell booze within licensed trading hours.

The president said these steps would help to ensure a rapid and sustained economic recovery.

FULL ADDRESS | Ramaphosa addresses SA on Covid-19 developments

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We know you may not have listened to the whole speech, so here are five highlights to keep up with the conversation at work or at the dinner table:

The hours to buy booze have been extended!

Ramaphosa said the sale of alcohol would be allowed at retail outlets during normal licensed trading hours. He said restaurants and other licensed establishments should adhere to the curfew for on-site consumption.

“Even as restrictions on the sale of alcohol are lifted further, we are mindful that excessive alcohol consumption is a hindrance in our fight against the coronavirus. It is vital that South Africans act responsibly to ensure we do not see a spike in alcohol-related incidents,” the presidency added in a statement.

But, eish, infections are rising

Ramaphosa said increased movement, particularly of people from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape, was a cause of concern for the government, as this can potentially lead to a spread in Covid-19 cases throughout SA.

“In response to the rising infections, we are implementing the resurgence plan that has been developed together with the surge team deployed to SA by the World Health Organisation.

“Interventions include primary health care outreach teams to intensify contact tracing, daily community mobilisation, ensuring the readiness of health facilities, and being ready to respond to possible cluster outbreaks.”

Those 'super spreader' parties are worrying — remember your mask

The president expressed concern about reports of South Africans starting to gather in large numbers, some without observing social distancing and other safety measures.

“I have been increasingly getting concerned and alarmed by what I have been seeing on social media and even on television where people are holding big parties, gatherings and social events as though the virus does not exist. The same rules that applied in the early stages of lockdown should apply now. And now that we are in summer, it is far easier to meet outdoors or in rooms with the windows open.”

A Covid-19 vaccine could be made right here in SA

Ramaphosa announced a partnership between Aspen Pharmacare and Johnson & Johnson to manufacture a candidate vaccine locally. He said this would cost the African continent about $12bn (about R188bn). The continent would need 750 million doses of the vaccine, said the president.

“In recognition of our country's manufacturing capability, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world, Johnson & Johnson, has entered into an agreement with a local company, Aspen Pharmacare, to manufacture and package its candidate vaccine. Aspen has capacity to manufacture 300 million doses of the candidate vaccine at its Nelson Mandela Bay plant.”

The president wants you to download the Covid Alert app

Ramaphosa said 700,000 South Africans have downloaded the Covid Alert SA mobile app. It is not a contact tracing app but rather a notification system for users in case they have been exposed to the virus.

“I call on each of you to join the 700,000 South Africans who have downloaded the Covid Alert SA mobile app. The app can notify you if you have been exposed to the virus — whether it is in a taxi, a shopping mall or a social gathering — and it does so without sharing your location or any personal information.”