This means we have a more relaxed curfew, you can buy alcohol on Fridays and more people are allowed at events.

After a week of speculation about Command Council meetings, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation last night to announce that South Africa is moving to adjusted alert level 2.

The easing of lockdown restrictions comes as a result of the country’s growing efforts to vaccinate most of the adult population. Further to this, most provinces have also indicated that they have exited the crippling third wave of infections.

Adjusted alert level 2 means that the hours of the curfew are relaxed. Now, people are required to be home between the hours of 23:00 and 04:00 daily. The President stressed that there is still a need to keep a curfew in place, although he did not elaborate on this statement.

Another big change is that alcohol will be for sale on Fridays too. The sale of alcohol is still restricted on weekends, though. Some commentators suggest that the continued ban of alcohol sales over the weekend will however be challenged soon enough by the industry.

In a surprise move, the President also announced that more people will be allowed at indoor and outdoor gatherings. Specifically, the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings has been increased to 500 people. Those attending indoor gatherings are now capped at 250 people. This is by far one of the biggest increases in the number of people allowed at events since the start of the lockdown in South Africa. The President said that the Command Council has acted on advice from experts in this regard and that they are of the opinion that it is safe to ease restrictions in this regard.

The President also mentioned that the government is busy looking into vaccination passports. This has been a contentious topic, but according to Ramaphosa, the passports will serve as an excellent way of allowing those who are vaccinated to take part in greater activities than those who have not been inoculated.

The state of adjusted alert level 2 restrictions will be reviewed in two weeks’ time.

You can watch the full address below.