LIVE BLOG: President declares Nelson Mandela Bay a COVID-19 hotspot

How will the government respond to the flare-up of COVID-19 infections? Speculation is rife that there will be stricter regulations to curb the spread of the virus going into the festive season.

WATCH LIVE: President Ramaphosa addresses the nation.

The family meeting in pictures:

Family meeting is done. The president noted the resurgence and hotspots. 

Ramaphosa: May God continue to bless our beautiful country South Africa and her people. 

"We're in the fight of our lives." Ramaphosa says.

The president calls on the nation to continue saving lives by adhering to COVID-19 regulations. "We must not sacrifice the gains we have made."

The presidents says you might want to wind down and relax but the virus doesn't rest. 
Don't rest bafetu, don't rest. Be vigilant and adhere to COVID-19 regulations.

"We should keep gatherings small, host them outside or in well ventilated areas." Ramaphosa urges.

Ramaphosa: If there ever was a time for caution, this is the time. The festive season is approaching. 

"I know you might get borrrrred," the president says. "But we have to protect ourselves," he adds.

"Observe social distancing and avoid large gatherings," Ramaphosa says.

If you've just joined us, President Ramaphosa has declared the Nelson Mandela Metro a COVID-19 hotspot.

The national state of disaster has been extended to 15 January 2021 and lockdown level 1 restrictions remain in place.

Ramaphosa: The summer initiation season may go ahead in the 

Ramaphosa says no more beach going, alcohol to be sold from Monday to Thursday and the curfew goes back to 10pm-4am.

Ramaphosa: After consultations Cabinet has declared Nelson Mandela Bay as a hotspot.

The president urges the nation to treat the pandemic like a wild fire that must be contained.

Ramaphosa: The most urgent task for us now is to contain areas like the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

Ramaphosa: Many people are not wearing masks.

The president expresses concern over social gatherings where people aren't adhering to COVID-19 lockdown level 1 regulations. He notes 'after tears' at funerals are problematic. 

"Many people are travelling between provinces in higher numbers especially with the festive season approaching." The president states. 

"There are three regions in the country that have high numbers. Nelson Mandela Bay being one of them." He says.

Ramaphosa says hospital admissions are increasing. 

Ramaphosa says the pandemic has taken a great toll on the country, 92% of those who contracted the pandemic have recovered, over 20,000 died on due to the virus. 

He gives the stats of COVID-19 numbers in SA.

President Ramaphosa says a second wave is possible if we don't protect ourselves and those around us.

Ramaphosa starts noting another pandemic in South Africa - gender-based violence. He says it must stop.

"Me fellow South Africans..." The president begins his address.

The president hasn't started yet...

A curfew and a partial ban on alcohol sales over weekends are part of the submissions that have been made to Ramaphosa and the NCCC.

Meanwhile, in KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala announced on Wednesday that the provincial executive committe, on advice by medical and scientific practitioners, resolved not to encourage the hosting of major events in the province owing to the threat and risks imposed by the pandemic.

What about KZN?

The province has seen a resurgence of COVID-19 in recent weeks, with Cape Town and the Garden Route reporting rising infection rates.

It's not looking good in the Western Cape, as of Wednesday, the province had over 10,000 active cases of COVID-19.

Let's cross over to social media for some speculative light hearted commentary:

It doesn't get any more official than this...

A resurgence in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape and concerns around how the festive holiday season will impact on the spread of the pandemic.

How will the government respond to the flare-up of COVID-19 infections? Speculation is rife that there will be stricter regulations to curb the spread of the virus going into the festive season.

This follows a special sitting of Cabinet that considered recommendations of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) meeting.

Ramaphosa will address the nation in connection with the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hello and welcome to EWN's live blog about President Cyril Ramaphosa's address to the nation about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.