President Cyril Ramaphosa announced localised restrictions in Nelson Mandela Bay from midnight to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The National State of Disaster will be extended to 15 January 2021.
The president said three areas in the country are of particular concern: Nelson Mandela Bay, Sarah Baartman District in the Eastern Cape, and the Garden Route in the Western Cape.
Ramaphosa said many factors had contributed to the surges, including inter-provincial travel as well as social, cultural and religious gatherings in large numbers.
Funerals and “after tears” parties were singled out as potential superspreader events.
The president said alcohol-related admissions to hospitals have been reducing hospital capacity, with exhausted healthcare workers in some areas fearful of a system collapse.
Ramaphosa said the lack of mask-wearing, poor observance of social distancing and hygiene steps are the major contributing factors to the resurgence of the virus.
The government will be aiming to make more capacity available at hospitals and clinics, expanding public health interventions and awareness campaigns.
Additional measures in the areas identified as coronavirus hotspots will be implemented.
Within Nelson Mandela Bay, a curfew will be implemented from 10pm to 4am.
Alcohol sales in these areas are restricted from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Thursday. Alcohol consumption in public spaces is prohibited.
Religious gatherings in the metro are restricted to 100 people when conducted indoors and 250 people when outdoors.
Post funeral gatherings are prohibited.
“They are not intended to increase the hardship experienced by our citizens. These measures are needed to contain the spread of the virus and to save lives… When identifying a hotspot, consideration is given to the number of new COVID-19 cases, the testing rate within the population and the number of deaths” said Ramaphosa on the matter.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize will be visiting the Sarah Baartman District and the Garden Route to assess the situation and to engage with various stakeholders in the province.
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