President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday moved SA back to alert level 3, meaning that alcohol sales will be allowed, gatherings can take place and interprovincial travel for leisure is back.
The nationwide curfew stays in place, from 10pm to 4am.
Ramaphosa said that non-essential establishments — including restaurants, taverns, bars and fitness centres — can open, but must close by 9pm.
Gatherings have also been allowed, but are limited to a maximum of 50 people for indoor events and 100 for outdoor events.
The sale of alcohol for off-site consumption is allowed, from 10am to 6pm, from Monday to Thursday. On-site sales and consumptions are allowed “as per licence conditions”, but must end by 8pm.
SA had been on alert level 4 for four weeks, as a spike in cases — with Gauteng the epicentre — drove the country’s third wave.
Ramaphosa said: “The latest figures suggest that we have largely passed the peak of the third wave, though there are some areas in the country where we still need to be concerned because the rates of infections have not yet showed signs of decline.”
He said that while the number of infections in Gauteng were declining, there were concerns about increasing infections in the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape.
Just before he spoke, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said that there were 9,718 new Covid-19 cases recorded in the past 24 hours. There were also 287 new Covid-19 related fatalities recorded in same period, taking the total death toll to date to 69,775.