South Africa investigating electronic ‘vaccine passports’

South Africa is considering the introduction of electronic “vaccine passports” to allow people access to public and private spaces and venues.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday evening that the department of health is investigating options for introducing the “passport” system.

Government plans to provide more information in due course on “an approach for vaccine passports, which can be used as evidence of vaccination for various events and purposes”.

No decisions have been taken, the president said, but one of the mechanisms the country is considering is using an electronic system “through cellphones, or other forms of demonstration”.

Ramaphosa announced that South Africa’s lockdown will be moved on Monday from adjusted alert level 3 to level 2. The decision means that:

  • The curfew is now between 11pm and 4am;
  • Bars, restaurants and other venues must closed by 10pm to allow employees to get home before the curfew begins;
  • All gatherings will now be limited to maximum of 250 people indoors (from 50 under level 3). Outdoors, the limit has been moved to 500 people (from 100); and
  • The sale of alcohol for off-site consumption is now permitted between 10am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. On-site consumption is allowed as per a venue’s licence conditions, up to 10pm. Alcohol consumption remains prohibited in public spaces.

“These measures will be renewed in two weeks depending on the state of the pandemic. We do so to see how the pandemic is progressing and the impact these new measures will have,” Ramaphosa said.

It remains mandatory for all South Africans to wear a mask in public places.  — © 2021 NewsCentral Media