Mbabane: Acting Prime Minister Themba Nhlanganiso Masuku has announced that the country will move to lockdown alert level two from Monday, June 14, 2021.
Masuku made the announcement during a press briefing at the cabinet offices on Friday.
Masuku said Covid-19 restrictions will be strengthened as the country moves to level 2 lockdown from Monday. The restrictions affect liquor trade, arts, and sports industries, and religious as well as community gatherings, among others.
This is in a bid to curb the spread of the covid-19 pandemic as the country has seen an increase in the number of covid-19 infections. To date, the country has 18705 confirmed cases and over the past week alone the county recorded 82 cases.
Masuku appealed to the Nation and all sectors of society to work together as the government is working hard to deal with the fast-approaching 3rd wave.
According to Masuku, the level 2 lockdown regulations will be reviewed after 2 weeks. Masuku said the approach is based on a carefully calculated data-driven mechanism
Worth noting is that the past three months the country had placed our restrictions at Level 1 due to the lower number of daily cases as seen by the 7-day moving average and the lower positivity rate for COVID-19, which remained below 1%. Furthermore, the number of admissions fell sharply.”
However, as the country began the month of June 2021, it has realized a 20% increase in new cases for 2 consecutive weeks and the increase in positivity rates for COVID-19.
Affected Sectors on Level 2 regulations:
1. Religious gatherings:
Religious establishments will only be allowed to host a one-weekend daytime service, within a maximum of two and a half hours. All other standard protective measures should be in place including 1.5m social distancing.
2. Community meetings:
Indoors: Only a maximum of 50 people can attend and this should be held within two hours. All other standard protective measures should be in place including 1.5m social distancing.
Outdoors: A maximum of 100 people can attend and this should be held within two hours. All other standard protective measures should be in place including 1.5m social distancing.
Only sporting codes categorized as low and middle risk will be allowed to operate as well as high-level football such as Premier League, National First Division and National Teams. These activities will continue as per the guidelines previously outlined by the Ministry of Sports, Culture, and Youth Affairs. Only formal sections of these sporting codes are permitted and the thus social and informal sport remains strictly prohibited.
Liquor outlets will be permitted to sell alcohol from Mondays to Thursdays, between 9 am and 5 pm. Alcohol remains strictly for home consumption only.
5. Entertainment and Arts:
Entertainment and arts activities are allowed only in outdoor or open spaces with a maximum of 200 people in attendance with a duration of two and half hours and strict adherence to safety protocols
6. Funeral and Memorial Services:
A maximum of 50 people can attend funeral services and they should be held within 2 hours. All other standard protective measures should be in place including 1.5m social distancing. Memorial services, night vigils, and Kufukama are strictly prohibited.
A maximum of 50 people can attend. The activity should be held within a maximum of 2 hours. All other standard protective measures should be in place including 1.5m social distancing.
All shopping outlets will operate between 8 am and 7 pm. All other standard protective measures should be in place including 1.5m social distancing.
9. Public Transport:
Public transport vehicles are allowed to carry 100 percent sitting capacity, no standing. Standard measures including the wearing of face masks and sanitizing should be implemented at all times.
10. Restaurants and food outlets:
Standard protective measures should be in place including social distancing of 1.5m. No alcohol should be sold or served after 7 pm.
Schools at all levels will remain open and will continue to implement the blended learning approach where applicable.