Thursday saw South Africans finally hearing what would and wouldn't be allowed during Level 3 of lockdown. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates as the nation continues to endure the Covid-19 pandemic.
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South Africans learned on Thursday that while tobacco products remain prohibited, alcohol sales would be allowed to resume during Level 3 of the national lockdown.
Briefly.co.za explores the top stories on the continued pandemic below:
1. Covid-19: ZCC announces that it will remain closed during Level 3
South Africa's biggest church, the Zion Christian Church, has opted to place the safety of its congregants first amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Bishop Dr BE Lekganyane released a statement on Thursday saying that it is not yet safe to resume services at ZCC churches.
Lekganyane announced that the churches will, therefore, stay closed until further notice despite the green light from the government. This directive will affect all churches, even those situated outside of South Africa.
2. Julius Malema slams move to Level 3: "Many black people will die"
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema insists that South Africa is simply not ready to move to Level 3 lockdown.
Speaking during a press conference on Thursday, Malema claims that the government is putting the lives of the poor black majority at great risk of contracting Covid-19.
This majority, explained Malema, does not have access to quality healthcare and would be the hardest-hit by the pandemic:
"Many black people will get sick and die, and no one will know how. Government has not renovated any hospital or given any significant improvements. Admittedly, even the misguided 'events based temporal' quarantine centres will not meet the demand that is coming."
3. Level 3: Smoking still banned, alcohol and fast food delivery allowed
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has addressed South Africa to detail the specifics surrounding Level 3 of the current Covid-19 lockdown.
The minister warned that, while regulations are relaxing, the effort to prevent further infections and fatalities must be doubled:
"Thanks to our sacrifice and contribution, we have managed to flatten the curve. But unfortunately, our figures are still rising and the peak is still on the horizon."
Briefly.co.za reported that religious gatherings had been given the green light and the minister reiterated this, commenting that:
"We have also widely consulted with religious sectors, led by our president, and are now in a position to categorise religious counselling as an essential service."
The sale of cigarettes and tobacco products remains banned, with alcohol available for purchase under strict restrictions. Industry and Trade Minister Ebrahim Patel noted that this level will entail the most significant reopening of the economy.
Patel also indicated that hot food will now be available for sale, with consumers allowed to make use of drive-throughs and collections to obtain their meals from outlets.
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