South Africa considers vaccine passports as infection rate decreases

Published on : Tuesday, September 14, 2021

South Africa is planning to start to ease several COVID-19 restrictions as infection rates decrease in the country.

Amongst other COVID-19 related measures, the nationwide curfew will be reduced to 11pm until 4am, the size of gatherings can increase to 250 people indoors and 500 outdoors, and restrictions on alcohol sales will be further reduced. This needful measure will be reviewed in two weeks, he said.

Ramaphosa said that South Africa now has enough vaccine doses to cover the entire adult population, with more than a quarter of adults receiving at least one dose.

The South African president encouraged everyone to get vaccinated to allow the country to get back to normal.

He added that vaccine passports or certificates “that can be used as proof of vaccination for various purposes and events” are being discussed.

Some citizens have decried the proposed vaccine passport likening it to apartheid-era pass laws that required Black South Africans to carry a document, known as ‘dompas,’ to show their authorization to be in certain places.

South African researchers have been keeping an eye on a new variant C.1.2 they say has appeared in South Africa, as well as in seven other countries in Africa, Asia and Oceania.

South Africa went into strict lockdown in June due to a devastating third wave driven by the more transmissible Delta variant.

In recent days, the wave has been easing considerably in most provinces. The Health Ministry reported 3,961 new cases Sunday, an improvement from the 15,036 new cases on June 27 just before the lockdown was imposed.

However, Ramaphosa warned that the third wave is yet to end, imploring citizens to comply with health precautions in order to contain the pandemic.

This comes amid a slow vaccine rollout across the African continent which the President dubbed as “vaccine apartheid” in June.

The World Health Organization stated that most African countries are unlikely to meet the global goal to vaccinate 10% of their vulnerable population by September.

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