COVID-19: South Africa Bans Alcohol, Unveils New Restrictions

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled new Covid-19 measures starting from Monday as the nation faces a third wave.

Ramaphosa said all gatherings, indoors and outdoors, would be prohibited for 14 days, along with the sale of alcohol.

Rampahosa said “… our ministerial advisory committee has advised that the limited restrictions previously imposed were not that effective and that a prohibition will ease the pressure that is placed on hospital services by alcohol-related emergency incidents.”

He added that dining in restaurants is also banned ‘because it is not possible for patrons to wear masks while eating or drinking’. On-trade venues are only allowed to sell food for takeaway or delivery.

The President also placed a curfew from 9pm to 4am and all non-essential establishments must close by 8pm.

The government will assess the impact of the restrictions after 14 days.

South Africa introduced a total ban on alcohol sales at the start of the pandemic, which lasted from 27 March 2020 to 1 June 2020. The ban was brought back on 12 July but reversed a second time on 17 August. In mid-December, a third ban was put in place and lifted in February.

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