For some time, the alcohol industry has been calling for lockdown restrictions to be eased and the time has finally arrived. Not only are alcohol restrictions being eased, but so are the restrictions placed on international travel.
Previous restrictions did not allow retailers to sell alcohol after 5pm and restricted the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption on weekends.
Now, buying alcohol will be less of a mission as it can be sold for off-site consumption on weekends and licensed traders are allowed to sell during normal trading hours.
If you were hoping to plan a trip away, then it might be time to start packing your bags because all international travel is now allowed.
Travellers will have to test negative for Covid-19 and present the test results no later than 72 hours before the time of departure.
If necessary, travellers could be required to quarantine but this will have to be done at their own cost.
“Even as restrictions on the sale of alcohol are lifted further, we are mindful that excessive alcohol consumption is a hindrance in our fight against the coronavirus. It is vital that South Africans act responsibly to ensure we do not see a spike in alcohol-related incidents,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa.
This change has been welcomed by the tourism industry, which will benefit from international travelers coming to South Africa.
"By using rapid tests and strict monitoring, we intend to limit the spread of the infection through importation. We expect that these measures will assist businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors."
The President also called out South Africans for attending social events without following Covid-19 guidelines.
“I have been increasingly getting concerned and alarmed by what I have been seeing on social media and even on television where people are holding big parties, gatherings and social events as though the virus does not exist," he said.
With the festive season upon us, South Africans are urged to be safe when attending gatherings and to practice as much caution as possible.
“The same rules that applied in the early days of the lockdown should apply now. And now that we are in summer it is far easier to meet outdoors or in rooms with the windows open,” he said.