Flash Briefing: SA enters level 3 Lockdown amid healthcare crisis and alcohol industry calls for revision of total ban

By Melani Nathan 

As of 12am on the 29th of December, South Africa is on an adjusted Level 3 lockdown to curb the second wave of the Covid-19 virus. In his address, President Cyril Ramaphosa told the nation that certain regulations pertaining to the lockdown have been amended in an effort to prevent superspreader gatherings and reckless behaviour. Under the latest lockdown;

  •  Not wearing a mask in a public place is an offence;
  • All beaches, dams, lakes and rivers are closed in hotspots;
  • All public pools are closed;
  • Gatherings at public parks are not permitted;
  • All social gatherings are prohibited for 2 weeks;
  • The general rule for permitted gatherings is 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors subject to the 1,5m distancing;
  • Sale, dispensing and distribution of liquor is prohibited and
  • Curfew has been extended from 9pm to 6am.

Ramaphosa explained that the alcohol ban is key in preventing accident and trauma related hospital admissions. He emphasised that flattening the curve of the current wave of infections is vitally important to protect resources in the country’s struggling healthcare system. Visit Biznews.com for the president’s full speech and details of lockdown regulations.

Meanwhile, the country’s alcohol industry has appealed to Government to consider alternatives to imposing a nationwide ban on all formal sales of alcohol, along with its distribution and transportation.  It says this will have a devastating impact that could potentially lead to job losses across the value-chain of the alcohol including retail. The industry welcomes the decision not to ban the export of alcohol.  But it says It is essential that prohibition of distribution and transportation be withdrawn to enable export trade.

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