President Cyril Ramaphosa has just announced that the sale of alcohol as South Africa will yet again be banned, as the country moves to level 4 restrictions, the nation’s second-highest, from midnight tonight.
With cases surging across the country, dominated by the more transmissible Delta variant, this will be the fouth alcohol ban that South Africa has seen since the start of the pandemic last year.
South African president Ramaphosa said that previous efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 through partial bans on the sale of booze were largely ineffective, and therefore insisted that a total ban is necessary to control the rampant spread of the virus.
To contain the massive surge in infections, South Africa will be moving to Alert Level 4 for a period of 14 days. Additional restrictions will be in place from tomorrow, 28th June 2021.#StaySafe #CoronaVirusSA #Ramaphosa #Level4 #14Days pic.twitter.com/2XPY21cBgq
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) June 27, 2021
Designed to to ease pressure on hospitals brought by emergency incidents related to drinking, the ban has been described by many in the industry as a “hammer blow”, with alcohol completely restricted for both on-site and off-site sale.
Hours before the ban was announced, the Beer Association of SA (BASA) released a statement saying, ““The previous three alcohol bans have devastated thousands of small businesses. Many more businesses will now find themselves on the brink of closure.
“Another ban will offer a severe blow to thousands of small businesses still trying to get back on their feet from the previous bans, resulting in even more job losses, business closures and loss in revenue for the national fiscus.”
The ban will be in effect for the next two weeks until 11 July 2021. In addition to the alcohol ban, all restaurants have been ordered to close, although they may provide take-away meals, and the curfew has been extended from 9pm to 4am.
Listen to our podcast interview (recorded at the end of May this year) with Lucy from Cape Town’s Hope Distillery