President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday says the rapid rise in Coronavirus cases and hospitalisations in South Africa has led to the return of tighter restrictions on public gatherings and sales of alcohol.
“The massive surge in new infections means that we must once again tighten restrictions on the movement of persons and gatherings,” he said.
Ramaphosa said the 59% increase in COVID-related hospital admissions over the past two weeks threaten the health systems in several parts of the country.
“Our priority now is to make sure there are enough hospital beds, enough health workers, enough ventilators and enough oxygen to give the best possible care to every person who needs it,” said Ramaphosa.
The nightly curfew has been extended while religious gatherings and social events indoors are limited to 50 people and 100 people for outdoor events.
The retail sale of alcohol will only be permitted between 10am and 6pm local time from Monday through Thursday.
South Africa is the hardest hit country by the pandemic on the continent, with a cumulative total of more than 1.7 million infections, including 58,000 deaths.