The second move to level 1 lockdown has been met with mixed reactions online.
On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would be moving to level 1 after two months of being in adjusted level 3.
During his address to the nation, Ramaphosa said the move to level 1 was due to a significant decline in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
He said, in the last week of February, the country recorded just under 10,000 new infections, compared to the last week of January (40,000 cases) and the last week of December (close to 90,000 cases).
“This dramatic decline in cases over eight weeks is due to a combination of the public health measures introduced, changes in behaviour and accumulating immunity in those who became infected in our communities,” said Ramaphosa.
“We were able to emerge from the second wave because most people adhered to the tighter restrictions and observed the basic health protocols, including wearing masks in public and social distancing.”
This is not the first time SA has moved to level 1. In September last year, SA adjusted to level 1 after emerging out of the first Covid-19 wave.
Under level 1, the hours of curfew have been reduced from 12pm to 4am and public gatherings, including social, political and religious, are permitted, but restricted to 100 people for indoor gatherings and 250 for outdoor events, where the venue allows.
The sale of alcohol both for on and off-site consumption will be permitted during normal pre-lockdown trading hours, provided it is not during the curfew.
Night clubs are still not allowed to operate as well as gatherings after funerals, commonly known as “after tears”.
The wearing of masks in public places is still mandatory and failure to wear a mask when required remains a criminal offence.
The wearing of masks in public places is still mandatory, and failure to wear a mask when required remains a criminal offence. pic.twitter.com/lybUu4LvFR
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) February 28, 2021
On social media, many welcomed the move to level 1, saying it was good for businesses and employment.
Others criticised Ramaphosa, saying the president was far removed from the reality lived by many people in SA.
Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions:
President Cyril Ramaphosa is taking us to Level 1
The country needs to be completely open now. People need to go back to normal life and go back to grinding
Those who lost their job and their businesses you still have time. Don't give up on your dreams ❤️❤️
We will be okay 😭 pic.twitter.com/drXG3LQb1G
— CyberBullying Defense Force SA 🇿🇦🕒 (@Omilly_N) February 28, 2021
#familymeeting I'm actually grateful that we are moving to level 1, as I am a contract worker! So with level 1, I can humbly say a permanent position may be on it's way.🙂🙂😇😇😇 Siphila NgeThemba Manje!!!! pic.twitter.com/LQHVKoYTvw
— Abuti O Calm🌻🇿🇦 (@Themba_MHS) February 28, 2021
— Sam (@LS_Magwaza) February 28, 2021
We wil go to a level 1 the infections will rise and we go back to Level 4 during Easter..have another Easter without Bev.. It's a trap pic.twitter.com/EE6h7rxKIV
— KRusty (@VoetsekDptment) February 28, 2021
May job seekers get permanent jobs during level 1. We all deserve to have a stress-free life! 🙌🏾
— O L E T I L W E 🌻 (@Iam_Kardas) February 28, 2021
Manufacturers of ventilators and Oxygen suppliers be ready. #ThirdWave.
— Sophie Mokoena (@Sophie_Mokoena) February 28, 2021
Level 1, finally graduation ceremonies can resume 👩🎓 pic.twitter.com/sBldEjPyXB
— Marule Kgaogelo (@k_marule) February 28, 2021
Thank you President Cyril Ramaphosa for bringing us to Level 1 🙏 it's all about small steps in the right direction!
— Mila Smith (@iammilasmith) March 1, 2021
Our aloof Billionaire President says people can now go out and spend money again. What money? He says businesses can now implement plans they put on hold during lockdown. What businesses? Ramaphosa lives on a different planet. 🤷♂️🇿🇦 #Ramaphosa #Level1
— Simon Grindrod (@SimonPGrindrod) February 28, 2021
Lol ya'll trying to discredit Ramaphosa by every chance you get.
You wanted level 1, he's given you and still not satisfied.
To show how hypocrite you are, ya'll using the Steenhuisen comments on this recent announcement…
Ya'll are going to ridicule the next president as wel
— Kgomotso Motso Aphane (@MotsoAphi) February 28, 2021