South African Government

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About alert system

The five-level COVID-19 alert system has been introduced to manage the gradual easing of the lockdown.

This risk-adjusted approach is guided by several criteria, including the level of infections and rate of transmission, the capacity of health facilities, the extent of the implementation of public health interventions and the economic and social impact of continued restrictions.

The country will be on alert level 2 from 00h01 on 18 August 2020.

The country was on alert level 3 from 1 June to 17 August 2020.

The country was on alert level 4 from 1 to 31 May 2020.

The country went into lockdown from midnight 26 March to 30 April 2020. (Alert level 5)

Criteria for determination of alert levels

Alert levels determine the level of restrictions to be applied during the national state of disaster.
(a) 'Alert Level 1' indicates a low Covid-19 spread with a high health system readiness;
(b) 'Alert Level 2' indicates a moderate Covid-19 spread with a high health system readiness;
(c) 'Alert Level 3' indicates a moderate Covid-19 spread with a moderate health system readiness;
(d) 'Alert Level 4' indicates a moderate to a high Covid-19 spread with a low to moderate health system readiness;
(e) 'Alert Level 5' indicates a high Covid-19 spread with a low health system readiness.

The Ministerial Advisory Committee must advise the Minister of Health regarding which Alert Level should be declared nationally, provincially, in a metropolitan area, or a district, when taking into account
(a) the epidemiological trends of Covid-19 infections;
(b) the health system capacity in a specified area to respond to the disease burden; and
(c) any other factor that would influence the level of infection, hospitalisation and mortality.

Epidemiological trends includes a consideration of the trends in the number of tests done, number of persons screened, number of positive cases, number of recoveries and the demographic profile of the positive cases.

Health system capacity includes a consideration of the number of facilities available to support Covid-19, bed-occupancy levels for the various levels of care, human resource capacity, equipment and related resources.

(Gazette 43599, 7 August 2020)

Alert levels summary

Alert levels