In light of COVID-19, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national state of disaster on Sunday as the number of positive cases in South Africa grew.
With immediate effect, the South African government has introduced strict measures to contain the spread of the virus around the country by limiting the sale of alcohol and size of gatherings.
Bars, clubs and restaurants that sell liqour must close at 18:00 on weekdays and Saturdays, and at 13:00 on Sundays and public holidays. The same regulations apply to all liquor stores around the country.
Additionally, all premises that sell liquour must adhere to strict hygienic conditions and are not allowed more than 50 people at a time – or must be closed with immediate effect.
No special or events liquor licences will be granted during the duration of the national state of disaster.
Furthermore, it is a crime to intentionally expose another person to the virus. You may be charged with assault, attempted murder or murder. Anyone who misrepresents that they or another person is infected with COVID-19 will be liable to a fine or six-month jail term. The spread of fake news or misinformation is punishable. It is also a criminal offense to refuse testing, being admitted to hospital or quarantined.
While these measures are necessary, it is likely that many establishments around South Africa will close their doors. Additionally, many entertainers who rely on live performances will suffer.
For all South African residents:
- If you develop flu-like symptoms, do not panic. Please self-quarantine. This means you must limit your contact with other people.
- Please call the National Coronavirus Hotline: 0800 029 999, the Provincial hotline: 021 928 4102 or WhatsApp “Hi” to 060 012 3456.
- You can also call your health practitioner for further advice on what to do next.
- If unwell, stay home, except to get medical care as directed by the hotline or advice of health practitioner – do not go to work, school or public areas.