Government exploring incentives to encourage vaccine uptake, easing of lockdown level 3 mooted
The government wants to use incentives to encourage vaccination uptake. It is also looking at relaxing the restrictions on off-site alcohol sales, according to highly-placed sources.
A source, who was part of the president's co-ordinating council meeting on Tuesday, told TimesLIVE the government tabled a proposal in which it said it wants to explore using vaccination records to allow fully vaccinated people to access activities and amenities.
Other proposals include relaxing current restrictions on sales of alcohol for off-site consumption and a return to normal operating hours for the alcohol industry.
The source said the government is also set to increase the number of people allowed at outdoor venues from 100 to 250 and 100 for indoor venues from 50.
The curfew will be pushed back to between 11pm and 4am, said the source.
The information was corroborated by a second source.
It has been over a month since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the current lockdown restrictions. This was when he moved the country to adjusted level 3 on July 25, allowing Monday to Thursday off-site alcohol sales.
Government spokesperson Phumla Williams confirmed that Ramaphosa chaired meetings of the national coronavirus command council (NCCC) and the president’s co-ordinating council to deliberate on developments in the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The meetings reflected on the rate of Covid-19 infections and vaccination, and assessed the Covid-19 prevention measures in force under adjusted level 3 of the national state of disaster.
“The NCCC agreed that government will in the coming days hold consultations with political parties and the religious sector on the observance of safety measures.
“Following these discussions, the president will address the nation on the way forward to achieve population immunity through vaccination, to continue the protection of lives and livelihoods, and the conditions that would apply to a relaxation of regulations and directions linked to the national state of disaster,” said Williams.
On Monday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said SA had recorded 4,118 new Covid-19 cases over the 24 hours between Sunday evening and Monday night.
There were also 198 Covid-19 related deaths recorded in the same period.
This means that there have been 2,824,063 total infections confirmed countrywide to date, and 83,617 confirmed fatalities.