By Thys Khiba
Johannesburg – In his statement about progress in the national effort to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa has afforded the liquor industry some relief as he, this time, made no major restrictions on the restaurants, taverns or liquor stores.
Liquor traders have written to President Cyril Ramaphosa sharing their concerns regarding the imminent ban on operations in the liquor industry.
“Non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars, and fitness centres will need to close by 10pm. This is to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew,” said President Ramaphosa.
Therefore, the hours of curfew will start at 11pm and end at 4am.
This follows discussions at the National Coronavirus Command Council with Premiers, mayors, and traditional healers, which has influenced the Cabinet to place South Africa on Adjusted Alert Level 2.
“Based on these discussions, Cabinet has therefore decided that the country will be placed on Adjusted Alert Level 2,” said President Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa announced that all gatherings are expected to be limited to a maximum of 100 people indoors and 250 people outdoors.
Taxi operators and buildings managers need to ensure that people on their premises and vehicles, wear masks and social distancing should be observed.
“Funerals remain restricted to no more than 100 people, and, as before, night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed,” said President Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa has also expressed his concerns about a third wave of infections to be experienced by South Africa.
Meanwhile, the National Liquor Traders Council and the Liquor Traders Association of South Africa have written letters to the President requesting a meeting to discuss the possible alcohol sales ban.
“There is no doubt that as a country, one of the most important lessons that we have learnt from our past experiences of dealing with a pandemic is that we can still fight Covid-19 with a less negative impact on our economy,” said National Liquor Traders Council, Lucky Ntimane.
Ntimane has also said that liquor traders should be allowed to operate in strict standards and if restrictions were to be imposed, they should be balanced.
SOURCE: FREE STATE CENTRAL NEWS