Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has urged liquor licence holders, who are permitted to sell alcohol for on-site consumption, to refrain from selling alcohol to patrons for off-site use.
Dlamini-Zuma was briefing the media on the revised COVID-19 regulations following the President’s Tuesday night address, in which he informed the nation of the government’s decision to keep the country under Level 1 this Easter.
According to the revised rules, the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption will be prohibited from Good Friday to Easter Monday; a maximum of 250 people will be allowed to attend indoor religious gatherings and 500 people for outdoor meetings.
“So for the Holy weekend, there will be no sale of alcohol for off-site consumption. On-site consumption will be allowed until 23:00. We also plead with those who have licences for on-site consumption not to turn themselves into off-site sales, because the police have told us that some of the licences serve alcohol and when the patrons leave they sell them alcohol to take home which is not allowed,” says Minister Dlamini-Zuma.
She also explained why government decided to ban alcohol off-site consumption over the long weekend.
“The question may be, why are we limiting alcohol when the numbers are going down? But we know that the virus doesn’t move, it’s the people who move the virus. So the more movement there is, the more gatherings there are, the more the possibility of the virus spreading. We have to take precautions because we know that during Easter weekend, there is a lot of movement, there are lots of gatherings, so that is why we have to take these precautions,” says Dlamini-Zuma.
The Minister is urging South Africans to strictly adhere to COVID-19 safety regulations over the holidays.
“The health protocols should still be observed. People must still wear masks, sanitise, social distance at all gatherings. In terms of alcohol, alcohol will be sold as normal until today – Thursday. Over the weekend, alcohol won’t be sold for off-site consumption. It will then start to be sold again on Tuesday,” she says.