Home Latest News

SA schools to close due to COVID-19 rising infections

1241
0

All schools in South Africa are expected to be closed by Friday, July 2 due to the rising numbers of COVID-19 infections

Initially schools were supposed to be closed for the winter holidays on July 6 until July 26, but on Sunday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the closure of schools and other educational institutions for the winter holidays would be brought forward due to the rising infections driven by the Delta variant.

Briefing the media on Monday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said public schools will return from the winter vacation early on July 19, 2021 instead of July 26 as it was originally scheduled in the 2021 school calender.

She said School Management Teams, teachers, learners in hostel facilities, and learners with special education needs waiting for parents to pick them up, should report at their respective schools until Friday, July 2, 2021.

“Schools will start closing from this Wednesday, June 30, and all schools will be expected to be closed by the end of the week, on Friday. Contact classes at tertiary institutions will end by Wednesday, 30 June with limited access to the institutions,” he said.

The President also told the nation that in several provinces, the public health facilities are stretched to their limits and private facilities are buckling under the strain.

He said that even as hospitals have made extraordinary efforts to accommodate patients, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds are in short supply.

Announcing that the country would now move to Alert Level 4, President Ramaphosa said: “what we are seeing is that the existing containment measures in place are not enough to cope with the speed and scale of new infections.

“Our priority is to break the chain of transmission by reducing person-to-person contact and thereby help to flatten the curve,” he said.

Lockdown measures

He further announced measures to be implemented across the country from Monday, 28 June 2021 to Sunday, July 11, 2021. The measures include:

 · All gatherings – whether indoors or outdoors – are prohibited. These include religious, political, cultural and social gatherings.

· Funerals and cremations are permitted, but attendance may not exceed 50 people and all social distancing and health protocols must be observed.

· Night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.

· Public spaces, such as beaches and parks, will remain open. However, no gatherings will be permitted.7

· A curfew will be in place from 9pm to 4am, and all non-essential establishments will need to close by 8pm.

· The sale of alcohol both for on-site and off-site consumption is prohibited. Our Ministerial Advisory Committee has advised that the limited restrictions previously imposed were not that effective and that a prohibition will ease the pressure that is placed on hospital services by alcohol-related emergency incidents.

 · Because of the burden of infections in Gauteng, travel in and out of the province for leisure purposes will be prohibited. This does not include work, business or commercial travel, transit through airports or for the transport of goods. Those who are currently not in their place of residence, they will be allowed to return home to or from Gauteng.

· Visits to old age homes, care facilities and other ‘congregant settings’ will be restricted.

· Restaurants and other eateries will only be permitted to sell food for take-away or delivery. This is because it is not possible for patrons to wear masks while eating or drinking in these establishments.

Briefing the media on Monday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said public schools will return from the winter vacation early on July 19, 2021 instead of July 26 as it was originally scheduled in the 2021 school calender.

She said School Management Teams, teachers, learners in hostel facilities, and learners with special education needs waiting for parents to pick them up, should report at their respective schools until Friday, July 2, 2021.

“The usual winter vacation Learner Support Programme for grades 11 and 12 organised by provinces, districts and schools should continue under very strict adherence of COVID-19 health and safety protocols and the vaccination programme for the Basic Education sector personnel proceed as planned,” she said.