Ramaphosa address family meeting

Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address the nation for the first time in four months – Photo: Flickr / GCIS

SA’s lockdown restrictions ‘could be eased THIS WEEK’ – experts

Is that a move to Level 2 we can sense, here? BER experts are now confident that the current lockdown restrictions will be relaxed ‘imminently’.

Ramaphosa address family meeting

Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address the nation for the first time in four months – Photo: Flickr / GCIS

For those of you fed-up with Level 3 lockdown restrictions in South Africa, there may be some good news coming over the horizon: Regulations could be eased by the end of the week, as our COVID-19 data continues to show promising signs – and a move to Level 2 is looking more and more likely each day.

Latest COVID-19 figures for South Africa

Of course, the pandemic has gone nowhere, and provinces like KZN and the Eastern Cape are still struggling to get their infection rates down. But the overall picture for the country is looking a lot better, as both Gauteng and the Western Cape appear to be over the worst of this devastating third wave.

The Delta-driven resurgence ensured most South Africans would endure a cruel winter. But with a new season, there is renewed hope – and our first full week of Spring could be accompanied by a welcome announcement from the president.

Level 2 loading? Lockdown restrictions could soon be eased

That’s according to the forecasting experts at the Bureau of Economic Research (BER). The group is often spot-on when it comes to predicting changes to South Africa’s lockdown restrictions, and in a press release this week, they stated that ‘positive trends’ were likely to lead to a loosening of the current regulations.

“During the weekly update by the Health Ministry on Friday, the minister stressed that as soon as there is a sustained decrease in infections, it would advise the president to relax these restrictions. Given the recent positive trends in new COVID-19 cases in most provinces, a further loosening of lockdown could follow in the [week ahead] or so.”

Vaccine uptake will soon influence lockdown restrictions

In all likelihood, any step forward is likely to be a cautious one. As we’ve already stated, not every province is in an ideal situation at the moment, and the discovery of the C1.2 variant has the scientific community on standby. A shift to Level 2, therefore, is much more probable than an immediate drop to Level 1.

What is more, a significant proportion of the population is now partially or fully vaccinated. Those who have been double-jabbed, or received Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine, has reached 25% of all adults. For the first time, Cyril Ramaphosa can consider the impact of vaccines when deciding on the appropriate lockdown restrictions.

The more vaccinated citizens we have, the closer we get to permanently ending lockdowns. Keep at it, Mzansi.