The state of disaster is to be lifted by April 5 if all goes well.

As March drew to a close and South Africa recorded 44 new Covid-related deaths, the country officially breached the 100 000 deaths mark.

This comes one week after the two-year anniversary of lockdown, which commenced on March 26, 2020.

Over the last week, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that Cabinet is finalising plans to officially end the National State of Disaster. She made the announcement on March 29, giving the public a chance to comment on the regulations that will govern the country outside the state of disaster. The public comments would help inform the government’s decision on when and how to lift the state of disaster, with plans of doing so on April 5.

But some rules will remain in place, which include:

  • Mandatory wearing of face masks when in an indoor public place, but not in outdoor public spaces
  • Schools do not have to maintain a distance of at least one metre between people
  • Operators and users of public transport to wear their masks while in a vehicle
  • Outdoor facilities will be able to host 50% capacity, provided people are fully vaccinated or can present a negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours
  • Where this cannot be implemented, capacity is to be limited to 1 000 people for indoor venues and 2 000 people for outdoor venues
  • Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfast establishments, timeshare facilities, resorts and guest houses are allowed full capacity

This is welcome news by those in the tourism and sports industries which suffered greatly under lockdown restrictions.

Under the new regulations, stadia can allow fans back to sport games.

Covid-19 stats

As of March 31, an additional 1 888 new Covid-19 cases were reported, increasing the total number of cases to 3 718 953. Twelve more deaths were reported over the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 100 032. The cumulative number of recoveries now stands at 3 603 821 with a recovery rate of 96.9%. A total of 33 738 165 people have received their vaccines.

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