President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday declared South Africa free and ready to return to normalcy after 170 days of being under lockdown otherwise known as State of Disaster.
In his televised address to South Africans, the president announced that the national state of disaster that began on March 15, 2020 was officially over from midnight.
The lockdown empowered the government to take measures to prevent many people from becoming severely ill and saved countless lives.
People are however required to still use their face masks in an indoor public space, Ramaphosa, added.
“Where there is no provision for proof of vaccination or a Covid-19 test, then the current upper limit of 1, 000 people indoors and 2, 000 people outdoors will remain,” he explained.
“A mask is not required when outdoors. Indoor and outdoor venues can take up to 50% of their capacity, provided that proof of vaccination or a Covid-19 test not older than 72 hours is required to enter the venue.
Travellers entering South Africa would still be required to undergo thorough procedures to ascertain their Covid-19 status before being allowed into the country is part of the other rules that were still in place, the president further said.
Ramaphosa paid tribute to the healthcare workers, police, soldiers, volunteers and other frontline workers who showed uncommon dedication to saving lives, those who ended up losing theirs, and those still battling the effects of the disease.
“The end of the national state of disaster is a firm statement of our determination to live our lives and rebuild our country even as this virus remains in our midst. It should give us the confidence to return to the lives we led before the pandemic, with a few simple adjustments to protect those around us.
“…we are in a better position now than we have been at any other time over the last 750 days. We are hopeful that the worst is behind us, and we are confident that there are only better days ahead. Now is the time to grow our economy and create jobs.
“We must, however, remain cautious and ever vigilant. We have learnt that this virus is unpredictable, and that the situation can change rapidly.
According to the president, South Africa will continue to work with the World Health Organisation and other health bodies to “understand the increase of cases in other parts of the world and to assess the relevant emerging scientific information.”