JOHANNESBURG (dpa-AFX) – In view of the increasing number of new corona infections, South Africa is tightening its restrictions at the start of its holiday season from midnight. This includes strict mask controls in public, but also in buses and trains or offices, announced President Cyril Ramaphosa in a TV speech on Monday evening. Violators face up to six months in prison. Public gatherings are limited in number to a maximum of half the room capacity.
Beaches and parks in hotspot areas such as the Garden Route or the Eastern Cape Province will be temporarily closed between December 16 and January 3. There is a nationwide ban on going out between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., restaurants have to close at 10 p.m. This also applies to New Year’s Eve or Christmas. In addition, alcohol sales are again limited in time.
The Cape State has recorded an increase in the daily number of infections by 74 percent over the past week, the number of deaths has increased by almost 50 percent from over 100 to over 150 per day. Young people are particularly at risk. The school holidays have started in South Africa – it is now summer in the southern hemisphere and many young people started their holidays with celebrations. The coastal town of Ballito, for example, made headlines through a party with more than 1,300 high school graduates from the greater Johannesburg area, after which, according to Ramaphosa, around 1,000 new infections were found.
So far, 866 127 corona cases have been confirmed in South Africa, and more than 23 270 people have died in connection with Covid 19 disease. The government imposed a nationwide exit restriction in late March to curb the spread of the virus. The restrictions also have a devastating effect on the economy here./rek/DP/mis