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President Ramaphosa: South Africa to ease virus restrictions amid improving epidemiological situation

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visits the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment facilities at the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa April 24, 2020. Jerome Delay-Pool via REUTERS-File Photo

President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa would ease a number of coronavirus-related restrictions amid “gradual, but steady, decline in new infections, hospitalisations and deaths” and move to alert level 1.

“Cabinet decided this morning that the country should move to alert level 1.

“The move to alert level 1 will take effect from midnight on Sunday Sept. 20, 2020 … The move to alert level 1 will mean a further easing of restrictions on gatherings,” Ramaphosa said.

In particular, starting from Sunday, indoor gatherings of up to 250 people and outdoor public events of up to 500 people will be permitted, while the maximum number of those who may attend a funeral is increased from 50 to 100.

“Venues for exercise, recreation and entertainment – such as gyms and theatres – which were limited to no more than 50 people, will now be allowed to accommodate up to 50% of their venue’s capacity as determined by available floor space, subject to social distancing and other health protocols,” the leader added.

In addition, from Oct. 1, South will gradually ease restrictions on international travel, allowing people to travel into and out of the country for business, leisure and other purposes.

At the same time, trips to and from certain countries that have high infection rates may be restricted.

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