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Covid-19: Ramaphosa set to meet premiers on Tuesday as govt mulls Easter holiday restrictions

Could there be tighter lockdown restrictions over Easter?

Could there be tighter lockdown restrictions over Easter?

Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • The country is currently under Level 1, with alcohol sales allowed during normal hours.
  • There are fears that travel and religious gatherings over the Easter period can spark a third wave.
  • The NCCC has been advised to move the country to Level 2 as a precautionary measure.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to meet with premiers on Tuesday, with a decision around the restrictions during the Easter festivities expected to be finalised by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Alcohol restrictions covering the Easter weekend, running from 1 to 6 April, remain a real possibility.

While it was initially believed Ramaphosa would meet the premiers on Monday, independent sources confirmed the meeting would take place on Tuesday. 

READ | Covid-19: Western Cape govt ‘extremely worried’ Easter, Ramadan gatherings may cause another wave

The suggestion that church gatherings be extended has been opposed and it is expected that there may be a limit of church gatherings. 

A possible stricter curfew is on the cards.

Last week, News24 reported that the Ministerial Advisory Committee had advised the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to move the country to alert Level 2 during the Easter break as a precautionary measure.

MUST READ | Coronavirus command council advised to move SA to Level 2 as it mulls over hiking church gatherings

Tuesday’s deliberations come ahead of an anticipated third wave of infections.

On Sunday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed the total number of positive Covid-19 cases stood at 1 545 431, a rise of 965 new infections since Saturday.

Mkhize’s statement indicated that there had been no new vaccinations between Saturday’s announcement and Sunday’s.

Four provinces recorded no fatalities, while five others registered a total of 15 deaths.

While both the new infections and deaths have remained relatively low in recent weeks, scientists and some government officials have raised concerns about the impact of travel and religious gatherings over the Easter holiday period.

READ | Covid-19: Gauteng govt worried about risk of Easter travel infections

Both the Western Cape and Gauteng governments have spoken of the fear that travel during the long weekend will see a spike in cases.

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