Level 1 beckons

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Klerksdorp Midweek, Klerksdorp - Government is in talks to move South Africa to level 1 lockdown. Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says that South Africa will need to move to a level 1 lockdown and a return to ‘normal activities’ as part of its economic recovery.

“My department was initially worried about a possible surge in cases when moving to a level 2 lockdown, but early data shows there has not been a major upsurge in cases. We hope that we can still contain the numbers. The past two weeks have been very encouraging with no upsurge, which we hope (will remain the case) if we go to the next level lower.”

Mkhize said that the country will still need to follow major measures around gatherings. However, he said that there was a need to further reopen the economy and get people back to jobs.

The minister said that it was too early to provide a date as to when the country could move to a level 1 lockdown, but he confirmed that the government was currently discussing the issue.

“The president will come out in the next few days and give us a sense of direction, but we will be preparing for people to start easing to the next level. When that has been announced we will, of course, move onto that level, but it has not been decided yet.”

While government has not given any indication as to what level 1 lockdown would entail, there are still a few segments of the economy which are still limited under the current level 2 regulations.

These prohibitions include night clubs, international passenger air travel for leisure purposes, passenger ships for international leisure purposes, attendance of any sporting event by spectators, international sports events, exclusions relating to public transport services (long-distance public transport only allowed to operate at 70% capacity) and exclusions relating to education services.