South Africa Lifts Curfew as Omicron-driven Fourth Wave Subsides

South Africa has lifted a midnight curfew with immediate effect, saying the peak of its fourth coronavirus wave driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant has passed.

Government officials said Thursday they have lifted the midnight-to-4am curfew based on the trajectory of the pandemic, vaccination levels, and available capacity in the health sector.

“All indicators suggest the country may have passed the peak of the fourth wave at a national level,” a statement from a special cabinet meeting said.

Government officials also said that alcohol shops with licenses to operate beyond 11 pm could revert to full license conditions.

However, the government has not lifted other restrictions such as wearing masks in public places and restricting public gatherings to no more than 1,000 people indoors and 2,000 people outdoors.

South Africa has been the worst-hit country in Africa during the pandemic with close to 3.5 million infections and 91,000 deaths. 

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