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Off-Site Alcohol Sales Banned For 4 Days

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man uncorking a wine bottle

Liquor stores will not be selling alcohol over the Easter weekend. This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address to the nation.

On Tuesday night, the President said alcohol fuels "reckless behaviour", forcing government to enforce restrictions over the upcoming Easter weekend. 

"The sale of alcohol for off-site consumption will be prohibited this coming Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday."

Although alcohol will not be sold for off-site consumption, restaurants will be allowed to sell alcohol for on site consumption. 

"On-site sales at restaurants, shebeens and bars will be allowed, according to licensing conditions, up until 23:00."

Martin Hlongwa of the South African Liquor Traders Association said he commends the President for not enforcing a hard lockdown during the Easter Weekend. 

He commended the alcohol industry for not contributing towards a spike in Covid-19 infections since the recent unbanning. 

"We were restricted by the Covid-19 regulations, but as you can see the spike has levelled off a bit. It means there is something that we were doing as liquor traders to make sure that we flatten the curve. Even though we were open, the figures were showing not a decline as such, but they were leveling off." he said. 

Hlongwa is concerned that the President's recent announcement prohibiting the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption will badly affect businesses.

"It's a pity that there was no formal interaction between us and the government. Our colleagues in the bottle stores will be affected. I don't see a sound reason for closing them down because they were affected just before this announcement. I think some of them will lose their business".

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