Lifeline for taxis, churches

This follows the announcement that taxis and busses will operate fully pre and post the Easter Holidays by President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa last night.

This also means Inter-Provincial travel will not be affected.

Religious and traditional leaders, said the President, have urged people who will take Easter holidays trips and gather for activities to continue to comply with Covid-19 protocols.

Easter generally sees people travelling to different destinations to be with their families while others embark on religious pilgrimages or perform traditional rituals.

There have been concerns that Easter gatherings could cause a spike in Covid-19 infection

In his “family meeting” the President also in indicated the current curfew from midnight to 4am remains unchanged, but warned police enforcement will be visible in all roads throughout the country, since most of the people will be visiting families and other tourist hot spots.

Spots such as beaches, parks and other recreational facilities will be open.

On alcohol ban, Ramaphosa said only off-site consumption will be permitted and will last four days from Friday until Monday.

“Given the role of alcohol in fuelling reckless behaviour, we will put in place some restrictions over the Easter weekend. To this end, the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption will be prohibited this coming Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Just those four days.”

“On-site sales at restaurants, shebeens and bars will be allowed, but this will be according to licensing conditions and also to the limitations of time, up until 11pm,” said Ramaphosa.

He urged South Africans to minimise the risk of transmitting Covid-19.

“The reality is that greater movement of people, interprovincial travel, greater use of public transit and gatherings present a great risk of an increase in infections,” he said.

He said the latest adjustments to the lockdown was after he sought the advice of experts and consulted representatives of provincial and local government, and traditional leaders.

“We are not yet ready to return to normal life because of this virus. For the second year in a row, we will have to limit our interactions, particularly during the Easter period,” Ramaphosa said.

The President also indicated the nation on the vaccine rollout, confirming that the second phase of vaccinations would begin in May 2021.

This week he and deputy President David Mabuza visited the Aspen Pharmacare sterile manufacturing facility in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, to inspect the readiness on the rolling out of millions of vaccines.

Meanwhile, in his opening address, the President sent an emotional special message to isi-Xhosa newsreader Noxolo Grootboom, who conducted her last news bulletin at the SABC yesterday.

Grootboom, has been with the troubled public broadcaster for 37 years.

“People of SA love you, and I also love you,” said Ramaphosa, who also wished her well in her future endeavours.

Image (Taxi industry to operate fully pre and post the Easter Holy-days).

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