GARDEN ROUTE | HESSEQUA | KAROO NEWS - The abrupt reinstatement of a liquor sales ban on Sunday night by President Cyril Ramaphosa has been criticised heavily by the liquor industry that said in a statement on Monday that they had received no prior warning.
This was despite continued engagement with Government over the past month regarding their efforts to ensure compliance with regulations and safety protocols. According to a joint statement by various liquor trade associations, they had had no opportunity to consult with the National Coronavirus Command Centre (NCCC) and "no consideration was given to the immediate logistical difficulties it poses for suppliers, distributors and retailers".
The latest ban follows a rapid increase in alcohol-related trauma cases adding strain to the capacity of the country's health facilities, where, according to Ramaphosa, some Covid-19-related cases had to be shown away.
Cooperative Governance and Cultural Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said in a statement on Monday that during the absolute alcohol sales prohibition under Level 4, the overall number of visits to trauma units in the country dropped from 42 700 to about 15 000. After the lifting of the ban, health facilities have seen a significant increase in cases again.
Because most trauma incidents leading to hospitalisation happen at night, a curfew between 21:00 and 04:00 was instituted, except for people undertaking essential and permitted services.
It is now mandatory by law to wear a mask in public. Employers, shop owners and managers, public transport operators and drivers, and managers and owners of public buildings are now legally required to ensure that anyone entering their premises or vehicle is wearing a mask.
The penalty on them for failure to do so is a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of six months, or both.
No social gatherings
The prohibition on visits to family and friends continues. The only gatherings permitted are funerals where attendants are limited to 50.
While taxis travelling between provinces will continue to be limited to a loading capacity of 70%, local taxis will now be able to transport 100% loads. However, operators will be expected to follow new risk mitigation protocols related to masks, vehicle sanitising and open windows.
Leisure travel and accommodation
Travel and accommodation for leisure within provincial borders remain prohibited.
Interprovincial travel is prohibited, with exceptions as allowed under Level 3 lockdown, for which permits have to be obtained.
Parks open up, beaches remain closed
Public parks are now open, but only for exercise purposes. The exercise hours remain between 06:00 and 18:00. Beaches remain closed.
All auctions allowed
All auctions are permitted, subject to protocols similar to those that currently apply to agricultural auctions.
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