If you were early to bed on Monday evening, it’s quite possible you’d have missed a fairly significant announcement about our Level 1 laws – after the Cabinet approved four MAJOR relaxations on current lockdown rules.
Lockdown laws changed for Tuesday 1 February
The changes, which come into effect for the first time on Tuesday 1 February, signal that South Africa is now motoring its way out of the ‘pandemic phase’ of COVID-19, and approaching ‘endemic status’ instead.
CABINET APPROVES CHANGES TO ADJUSTED ALERT LEVEL 1 COVID-19 REGULATIONS
A special Cabinet meeting held today, 31 January 2022, has approved changes to the Adjusted Alert Level 1 COVID-19 regulations.
— Presidency | South Africa (@PresidencyZA) January 31, 2022
What are the new lockdown laws for Level 1?
Isolation guidance and regulations in schools are the two areas that have received a major shake-up. There’s also a pretty huge change in the way South African citizens can respond to asymptomatic cases of COVID-19.
- Those who test positive with no symptoms do not have to isolate.
- If you test positive with symptoms, the isolation period has been reduced from 10 to 7 days
- Primary, secondary and special schools will return to daily attendance (as normal).
- The regulatory provision for social distancing of one-meter for learners in schools has also been removed.
Level 1 latest: Is this the end of the SoD?
The State of Disaster is set to expire in two weeks – and very few requirements now remain in the legal framework.
So, what exactly has driven these changes? Large levels of immunity against the virus have been recorded across the country, all but defanging coronavirus as a disease which requires an ongoing emergency response.
“The information gathered through the system used by the Department of Health has reported that South Africa has exited the fourth wave nationally. The rationale for these amendments is informed by the proportion of people with immunity to COVID-19 which has risen substantially, exceeding 60-80% in several sero-surveys.”
“The government commends all South Africans who continue to observe COVID-19 regulations and protocols. We also remind those who are yet to get vaccinated to go for their COVID-19 vaccination and continue observing basic health protocols to prevent the transmission of the virus.”