After days of speculation on whether the country would migrate to a stricter level of lockdown ahead of the Ester weekend, President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally announced that South Africa remains on Level 1, with a few adjustments.

Ramaphosa managed to answer most of the questions that many probably had before his address on Tuesday.

Will you be allowed to attend church this weekend?

Yes, but it has been determined that religious gatherings over this period will be restricted to a total number of 250 people indoors and 500 outdoors.

Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.

Congregants should not gather outside their usual places of worship, and people must go home and not sleep over after services.

“I want to express my gratitude to the leadership of the faith community who have engaged positively with us as government.

“There is a common appreciation that we must do all we can to support our people to exercise their religious freedom and keep our country safe,” said Ramaphosa.

Is it allowed to meet with family, friends and be part of any other gatherings?

With respect to other gatherings, these will also be restricted to a maximum number of 250 people indoors and 500 outdoors.

As before, where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.

“We continue to urge all South Africans to avoid gatherings if they are in a vulnerable group, such as the elderly and those with co-morbidities.

“We also urge that gatherings should take place in outdoor venues, which are significantly safer than gathering indoors,” Ramaphosa said.

Can I go to a funeral?

Funerals remain restricted to a maximum of 100 people and with a two-hour limit on services.

Ramaphosa said: “Let us be a responsible nation that is forever aware of the presence of the virus.

“Let us remain at home or in small groups.

“Let us avoid being in large crowds and places with poor ventilation.

“Let us not go to funerals unless we are immediate family and not visit the homes of the bereaved.

“We all have a role in this great national effort to end COVID-19.

“Let us play our part.”

Will the curfew remain in place?

Yes, the curfew is maintained from midnight to 4am.

What about public recreational spaces? Are we allowed to go there?

Public recreational spaces such as beaches, parks and dams will remain open.

However, this will continue to be subject to strict health protocols, such as social distancing, mask-wearing.

Will interprovincial travel be allowed?

Yes, Interprovincial travel will still be permitted.

“However, I urge all South Africans to limit their travel as much as possible and to observe all the necessary health protocols if they cannot avoid travelling,” said Ramaphosa.

What measures have been put in place regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol?

“Given the role of alcohol in fuelling reckless behaviour, we will put in place some restrictions over the Easter weekend.

To this end, the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption will be prohibited this coming Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

On-site sales at restaurants, shebeens and bars will be allowed, according to licensing conditions, up until 23:00,” said Ramaphosa.

PICTURE: Cape Town ect gallery

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