President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the easing of Covid-19 regulations on Sunday evening, saying there had been a sustained decline in infections over the past few weeks.
The decision came after consultations with several organisations, experts and political party leaders.
“Based on these discussions, and the recommendations and the proposals that have been put forward, and the requests, cabinet has decided the country should be moved from an adjusted level 3 and be placed on adjusted level 2, with effect from tomorrow,” said Ramaphosa.
A curfew will remain in place, but will start at 11pm and end at 4am. Non-essential establishments, such as restaurants, bars and fitness centres, must close by 10pm so staff have time to travel home.
Gatherings are now limited to a maximum of 250 people indoors, up from 50, while outdoor gatherings will be limited to 500, up from 100.
Funerals remain restricted to no more than 50 people and, as before, night vigils and after-funeral and “after-tears” gatherings are not allowed
The new regulations start on Monday.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Sunday evening that 3,961 new Covid-19 cases had been identified in SA, bringing the number of laboratory-confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to 2,858,195. This increase represented a 11% positivity rate.
A further 126 Covid-19 related deaths were reported, bringing total fatalities to date to 84,877.