President Cyril Ramaphosa says in addition to the 1.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses secured from the Serum Institute of India, the country will also receive millions of doses from other sources.
– We have secured 12 million doses in total from the global COVAX facility, which has indicated that it will release approximately 2 million doses by March.
– We have secured 9 million vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson, commencing with delivery in the second quarter. Johnson & Johnson has contracted Aspen, one of our pharmaceutical companies, to manufacture these vaccines in South Africa.
– In addition, Pfizer has committed 20 million vaccine doses commencing with deliveries in the second quarter.
We are in advanced negotiations with manufacturers to secure additional supplies.
South Africa will also receive an allocation of vaccine doses through the African Union, which has been negotiating with manufacturers to secure vaccines for the entire continent on a pooled basis.
Through the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team of the African Union, we have to date secured 1 billion vaccines for the entire continent.
Seven hundred million of these will come from the global COVAX facility and 300 million have been facilitated by the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team.
MTN, which is one of our companies that operates across a number of countries on the African continent, has made a donation of $25 million to procure 7 million vaccines, which will be made available to countries on the African continent within a matter of weeks.
Ramaphosa also announced the relaxation of some restrictions, but warned against complacency.
With the clear decline in new infections, hospital admissions and deaths, Cabinet has decided to steadily ease a number of restrictions under adjusted Level 3.
– The hours of the curfew will now be from 11pm to 4am.
– Establishments will need to close by 10pm to allow their customers and staff to return home by curfew.
– Faith-based gatherings will be permitted, subject to health protocols.
Such gatherings may not exceed 50 people for indoor venues and 100 persons for outdoor venues. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used.
– Public places such as beaches, dams, rivers, parks and public swimming pools will be reopened subject to health protocols.
– Restrictions on the sale of alcohol will be eased.
The sale of alcohol by licensed premises for off-site consumption will be permitted from Mondays to Thursdays, from 10am to 6pm.
– Duty-free shops, registered wineries, wine farms, micro-breweries and micro-distilleries will be able to sell alcohol for off-site consumption during their normal licensed operating hours.
– The sale of alcohol by licensed premises for on-site consumption – such as restaurants and taverns – will be permitted throughout the week from 10am to 10pm.
Several prevention measures will remain in place:
– Social gatherings, political events, traditional council meetings and gatherings at sports grounds will not be permitted.
– This does not include religious gatherings and funerals and other limited exceptions as detailed in the regulations, such as restaurants, museums and gyms.
– Funerals may not be attended by more than 50 people, and there needs to be social distancing, hand sanitising and mask wearing.
– It remains compulsory for every person to wear a mask in a public space.