On-site sale and consumption of alcohol at licensed establishments will be permitted under the Level 2 lockdown, which will go into effect at midnight on Monday August 17.
In a long-awaited national speech on Saturday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that South Africa will be move to a new lock level. Citing the country’s successful response to the coronavirus pandemic – which was hit hard in March – Ramaphosa noted that South Africa has weathered the worst of the storm, surpassing the peak of the virus and, as such, l he emphasis would be on a complete reopening of the economy.
While the stringent regulations under the National State of Disaster have offered South Africa a window of opportunity to better prepare for its healthcare response, the negative economic impacts of the lockdown – which have been particularly harsh for the country’s hospitality industry – have proven to be a topic of fierce controversy. .
Level 2 lock: restaurants allowed to serve alcohol
The restaurant industry, which has languished under a heavy economic burden due to curfews, bans and assembly restrictions imposed by the lockdown, will receive a much-needed reprieve under the Level 2 lockdown. Industry stakeholders, who have long demanded the right to sell alcohol to in-store customers, will claim victory when the country enters Level 2 lockdown next week.
Ramaphosa revealed that in addition to controversial ban on tobacco products lifted, the alcohol would not only return to off-site shelves, but would also be available for consumption on-site. The President noted that offsite and onsite alcohol sales would be tightly regulated by the laws of the Disaster Management Act, ratified by the NCCC. Ramaphosa said:
“The suspension on the sale of alcohol will be lifted subject to certain restrictions.
Alcohol consumption on site in approved establishments will only be permitted until 10 p.m.
Alcohol outlets will be permitted to sell alcohol for off-site consumption Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. only. “
Other major changes coming this week
South African smokers will also be delighted with the recent announcement of the lifting of the ban on tobacco products, in force for nearly five months and facing a barrage of legal challenges.
Interprovincial travel, which has been fiercely opposed by the besieged tourism industry, will also be allowed under the Level 2 lockdown. Ramaphosa added:
“Restrictions on family and social visits will also be lifted, although everyone is urged to exercise extreme caution and only make such visits when necessary.
The NCCC is expected to officially release the latest set of regulations within the next 48 hours.