With President Ramaphosa confirming that the country would be adjusting its lockdown alert phase to Level 1, those in the hospitality industry have been jumping for joy on Sunday evening. The new laws give a significant ‘triple boost’ to restaurants and bars, who have been yearning for a bit of good fortune following a miserable start to 2021.
Throughout January, alcohol prohibition closed down the boozers and liquor stores respectively. Although restaurants were allowed to stay open, they were forbidden from selling booze – dishing out a devastating blow for those in the trade.
Three alcohol bans have been in place for South Africa, with ale off the shelves for roughly one-third of the past 11 months. For the drinkers and vendors of the country, lockdown has hit them just as hard as anyone else. Thankfully, there is now light at the end of the tunnel: Liquor returned to sale at the beginning of February, and March is looking brighter as well.
For a start, more customers will be allowed to visit an establishment at any given time. Current limitations have been adjusted, meaning that 100 people can now gather inside a restaurant or bar – and those with the facilities to do so can welcome 250 guests if they are seated outside. That’s not all, either…
With an eased curfew (now in place from just 00:00 to 4:00), longer opening hours are now on the table for our favourite eateries and drinking holes. Although nightclubs are still banned from welcoming back partygoers, almost every other hospitality venue can stay open for one hour later at Level 1 of lockdown.
Liquor stores, meanwhile, will also return to normal hours of sale – this has the potential to boost hospitality venues, as revellers plan the ‘pre-parties’ for their nights out. Cyril Ramaphosa outlined the changes during our ‘family meeting’ on Sunday evening, which was one of the more enjoyable ones…
Ramaphosa: Restrictions to be eased under #level1 due to decline in SA's #COVID-19 infection rate include— SABC News (@SABCNews) February 28, 2021
1. Curfew from 00:00 to 4:00
2. Gatherings (social, religious and political) permitted for 100 people indoors
3. Sale of alcohol permitted except during curfew hours