South Africa Relaxes Lockdown Restrictions
South Africa has lifted the midnight to 4 am curfew allowing New Year celebrations to go ahead, after health officials in that country said that a fall in new coronavirus infections in the past week indicated the peak of the current wave had passed.
This comes as the Omicron variant is fuelling a rise in new cases across the world especially in Europe where some countries, such as France, have tightened lockdown restrictions.
South Africa was the first country to detect the Omicron variant and scientists have tentatively said the strain causes milder illness.
On Thursday night, the South African Government announced a raft of new lockdown regulations that essentially repealed the midnight curfew and restrictions on alcohol sales.
Here are five things South Africans can do from tonight (New Year’s eve) that they could not do at the start of the week:
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- attend church gatherings any time of the day or night
- gather indoors with up to 1 000 people as long as the venue is big enough to allow social distancing
- be at the casino or nightclub after midnight
- buy alcohol after 11 pm from an establishment that has a licence to trade
- attend beach parties beyond midnight.