alcohol restrictions lockdown

Lockdown latest: Alcohol restrictions ‘likely to return’ this week

Liquor traders will tell you they can ill-afford further alcohol restrictions – but the NCCC are giving them some ‘serious consideration’.

alcohol restrictions lockdown

If in doubt, whip the alcohol restrictions out: That seems to be the government’s favoured policy in dealing with a surge of COVID-19 cases, and well-placed sources have revealed that the liquor industry is once again a sitting duck.

Alcohol restrictions ‘may return soon’

An explosion in new infections has been fuelled by the Omicron variant – a more transmissible, but apparently less severe strain of the coronavirus. Gauteng has borne the brunt of most positive tests, but cases are now spreading across the country. There’s hope, however, that these growth rates are now decreasing.

Omicron has been present in South Africa for five weeks, displacing Delta as the dominant mutation in the country. The troublesome variant has also been detected worldwide, and many countries that slapped a travel ban on South Africa last month have since seen their own localised outbreaks.

However, a higher number of cases still means that South Africa is on red alert. Several insiders, who spoke to City Press over the weekend, have revealed that alcohol restrictions will be the next policy to change. Within the next few days, President Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation in a ‘family meeting’.

Booze industry facing uncertain winter season

Rules on gatherings are also expected to be tightened, but as we head into Christmas, it’s the limitations on liquor that are being pulled into sharp focus. Here’s what we know about the NCCC discussions so far.

  • With over 5 000 people now in hospital with COVID-19, alcohol restrictions are allegedly ‘on the table’.
  • Sales over the weekend could be banned again.
  • No off-license liquor venue would be allowed to sell their produce on Public Holidays.
  • The restrictions could last until mid-January.
  • However, there are early, early signs this latest wave is nearing its peak. But that’s still subject to change.