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Booze sales and leisure travel allowed as SA moves to adjusted Alert Level 3

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South Africa’s restaurant and alcohol industry breathed a sigh of relief as the government relaxed restrictions on Sunday night, as the country moved to adjusted Alert Level 3.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said Cabinet took the decision following consultations and recommendations from the Coronvirus Command Council and other stakeholders.

He said data suggest that “we’ve largely passed the peak of the third wave”, adding that the measures introduced over the 28 days during Alert Level 4, had been effective in reducing the rate of infections.

“The overall decline in new infections means that it is possible to gradually ease some of the restrictions on gatherings, movement, and the sale of alcohol”

He said the curfew hours remain the same, between 10 pm and 4 am, while non-essential establishments like bars and restaurants, taverns and fitness centres may be opened.

However, these establishments will need to close by 9 pm to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.

Alcohol sales for off-site consumption will be permitted from Monday to Thursday between 10 am and 6 pm, while restaurants will be able to sell alcohol as per their license conditions.

Inter-provincial travel for leisure purposes is also allowed, while schools will reopen on Monday.

Ramaphosa also announced the re-introduction of the R350 Covid19 grant until March next year, saying this was made possible by a slight increase in revenue collection.

The President also announced measures to support businesses, both big and small, that were severely affected or destroyed during the looting and violence in Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal in the past fortnight.

There was some relief for the alcohol industry as excise duties were deferred for 3 months, while PAYE has also been deferred for three months to give businesses more cash flow, among the measures announced.

Turning to the violence that ravaged parts of Kwazulu Natal, President Ramaphosa promised that the instigators of the violence would face the full might of the law. 

“As we ease restrictions, we must remember that infections remain high and that we need to continue to exercise caution.”

 

 

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