Ramaphosa likely to extend Covid-19 lockdown regulations, but some rules could be relaxed
President Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to announce an extension of the stricter level four lockdown regulations when he addresses the nation on Sunday evening.
Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Tyrone Seale, confirmed on Sunday afternoon that the president will be addressing the nation at 8pm.
The country is currently at level four of the adjusted lockdown regulations. Under level four, all gatherings are banned, except for funerals, and the sale of alcohol is also prohibited. Restaurants are only allowed to sell takeaways, and leisure travel to and from Gauteng is also banned — with the province still the epicentre of the country's third wave.
A source who was part of the president's co-ordination council meeting on Sunday told TimesLIVE that Ramaphosa will extend most of the tough measures.
“The state of disaster [will be] extended to Aug. 15,” said the source.
It was also possible, the source said, that restaurants will be allowed to operate, and that gyms and agricultural auctions would be allowed to open — but only under strict conditions. Schools, said the source, are expected to be reopened on July 26.
The regulations are expected to be approved by the cabinet, which was also meeting on Sunday, before Ramaphosa announces them to the nation.
Acting director-general of the government communications and information system, Michael Currin, could not confirm the new regulations.
“As you know, the formulation of and decisions informing regulations pertaining to our fight against the pandemic follow intensive consultations with all relevant sectors, with the appropriate government structures, and finally to serve before the cabinet of the republic.
“As we are a strong constitutional democracy and a state based on solid intergovernmental relations, the president’s co-ordinating council is indeed one of the most critical structures to consult. The PCC, however, does not take decisions on whether to extend the state of disaster, open or close schools or any other consulted recommendations. This will be done by cabinet.
“I can confirm that a sitting of the PCC did take place today as previously announced. As such, announcements on issues you have raised will be made at the appropriate time by government,” said Currin.