Foodservice and alcohol sectors relieved not to have tougher COVID-19 restrictions

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On Sunday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the adjusted Level 2 lockdown restrictions in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19 as positive cases increased.

SAB beer crates are gathered as the Fenyane Bottle store prepares for the liquor sale. It will also be authorized again on August 18, 2020. Alcohol will be authorized for consumption on site in approved establishments until 10 p.m. Vosloorus, Ekuerhuleni. Image: Sethembiso Zulu / Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – The foodservice and alcohol industries are relieved Monday morning amid concerns over the slow rollout of vaccines and concerns about the unknown impact the third wave will have on the already overburdened healthcare sector in South Africa.

On Sunday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the adjusted Level 2 lockdown restrictions in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19 as positive cases increased.

FULL SPEECH: Ramaphosa’s speech to the nation

The curfew now begins at 11 p.m. and ends at 4 a.m., while no more than 100 people are allowed to congregate indoors, with outdoor events limited to 250.

The National Liquor Traders Council welcomed the president’s decision not to impose further restrictions on the industry which had already been heavily affected by previous lockdowns.

Lucky Ntimane of the council said that allowing licensed companies to continue trading reduced the chances of the illicit trade developing.

“We hope this government decision is a sign that they are taking a more scientific approach to managing the pandemic and that they will continue to do so in the future,” he said.

Wendy Alberts of the Restaurant Association of South Africa was also relieved at the adjustment in regulations that would allow responsible commerce to continue in a tough economic climate.

“We do not want further economic losses caused or threatened with job losses for our industry at this time and we must do everything in our power to protect the recovery in the industry.”

However, restaurants will have to close at 10 p.m. to allow customers and staff to return home before the 11 p.m. curfew every night.

Meanwhile, Siviwe Gwarube of the Democratic Alliance (AD) said that instead of placing more restrictions on the country, the government should instead use the time to focus on rolling out vaccines before the third wave hits. hits the country.

“We cannot afford to plunge South Africa into deeper economic ruin. Now is the time to step up the vaccination campaign.”

Ramaphosa said more Pfizer vaccines are expected to arrive in the country soon.

WATCH: SA goes to Adjusted Alert Level 2 of Lockout



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