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South Africa Easing Restrictions as Coronavirus Infections Drop

Customers have their nails done in Soweto, South Africa, Sept. 16, 2020.
Customers have their nails done in Soweto, South Africa, Sept. 16, 2020.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced late Wednesday that South Africa will begin allowing travel in and out of the country beginning October 1 amid a substantial decline in coronavirus cases.

Visitors coming from countries without high infection rates will be permitted to enter South Africa if they have a proof of a coronavirus test no older than 72 hours prior to their departure.

During a televised address, Ramaphosa said travelers without a valid COVID-19 test will be quarantined until an acceptable coronavirus test is presented.

South Africa placed restrictions on international travelers in late March in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country, which eventually increased to the largest total on the continent.

So far, South Africa has confirmed more than 653,000 infections and more than 15,000 deaths.

Ramaphosa also said because of the drop in infections, the threat level of the virus will be moved to its lowest point starting Sunday.

Ramaphosa said, the move to Level 1 means there is sufficient capacity in the health system to manage the current need.

Ramaphosa also announced under new public gathering requirements that up to 250 people can attend events indoors and 500 outdoors.

South Africa’s new curfew will last from midnight to 4 a.m. instead of starting at 10 p.m.

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