On Sunday evening (24 May 2020), Ramaphosa announced that the country will move to level 3 of lockdown on June 1st and that this will include the reopening of all districts as well as key economic areas.
He added that the government will take a ‘differentiated approach’ to hotspots which have cases of more than five active cases per 100,000 members of the population.
The City of Cape Town remains a concern as it accounts for half of the country's cases.
Other hotspots include:
According to the Presidency, hotspots will be reviewed every two weeks and that any part of the country could move back to level 4 or 5 if infection rates increase drastically. Districts which has fewer cases could move down to levels 2 or 3.
Ramaphosa said that all areas of the economy will be allowed to reopen from 1 June – with the exception of a few key areas.
The list of prohibited businesses include:
Other changes announced by Ramaphosa include:
The move to level 3 comes 10 weeks after South Africa first announced a state of national disaster and Ramaphosa has noted that it has allowed for more time to prepare for the anticipated surge in infections.
“As a result of the measures we imposed – and the sacrifices you made – we have managed to slow the rate of infection and prevent our health facilities from being overwhelmed”
The president said that the government has used the time during lockdown to build up an extensive public health response and prepare our health system for the anticipated surge in infections.
He added that projected models show that the coronavirus in South Africa will get much worse before it gets better. He said that the models also show that cases will be highly dependent on actions taken by the public.
“Now it is time for most of us to return to work and to resume parts of our lives that have been on hold since the lockdown began.
“However, I want to emphasise that the easing of some restrictions does not mean that the threat posed by the coronavirus has passed or that our fight against the disease is over.
“In fact, the risk of a massive increase in infections is now greater than it has been since the start of the outbreak in our country,” the president said.
Click here for more frequently asked questions about the lockdown