Health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has indicated that stricter Covid-19 regulations could be instituted to prevent super spreader events over the holiday long weekend next month, that could trigger a third wave.
Health minister, Zweli Mkhize
The Easter long weekend at the beginning of April is traditionally a time of religious mass gatherings and interprovincial travel, and during an interview on SABC, the minister said there have been recommendations by epidemiological experts as well as business and civil organisations to introduce a stricter lockdown.
However, the government has also received a request from the religious sector to allow for increased church attendance during this time. “This is a sensitive period where there is the vulnerability and the chance of the risk that we could have a super spreader event, with all the festivities and activities that go with the Easter long weekend. So the advisory was for a temporary increase in restrictions over this period of time,” he said.
The country's second wave of Covid-19, which forced the country to return to a Level 3 lockdown over last year's festive season was largely sparked by the Matric Rage in Ballito at the beginning of December 2020.
Virology experts have advised that a temporary Level 2 lockdown should be imposed, which will see limitations on alcohol sales to four days a week, curfew extension from 10pm, interprovincial travel restrictions, and private and social gatherings. Beach going has not been a Level 2 ban in the past, but this may be implemented this time around.