NATIONAL NEWS - Police Minister Bheki Cele has declared that the South African Police Service (SAPS) will allow establishments to stay open after 18:00 on weekdays and 13:00 on Saturdays and Sundays, as long as they don’t serve alcohol.
The regulations gazetted on 18 March by Government (see below) state that all on-consumption premises selling liquor, including taverns, restaurants and clubs, must be closed between 18:00 and 09:00 the next morning on weekdays and Saturdays, and from 13:00 on Sundays and public holidays.
After Cele’s announcement, Wendy Alberts from the Restaurants Association of South Africa in a public statement explained that restaurants are now allowed to trade in their normal trading hours, so restaurants that open at 06:00 and close and 22:00, can continue to do so.
“They can continue to do their deliveries and collections, but they can sell liquor between 09:00 and 18:00 on weekdays only, and on weekends till 13:00.”
They may also not allow more than 50 people in the establishment at a time, staff included.
“It is important that we encourage restaurants to be responsible, otherwise further steps will be taken for a complete shutdown.”
She said restaurants can phone her on 011 705 2054 or 083 661 9000 for more information and assistance in regard to the regulations. “I will get in touch with the powers that be to ensure our restaurants’ safety is of an utmost priority and that they are not victimised in any way by the authorities.”
Regulations regarding liquor sales gazetted on 18 March in terms of the Disaster Management Act read as follows:
Limitation on the sale, dispensing or transportation of liquor 8.
(1) All on-consumption premises selling liquor, including taverns, restaurants and clubs, must be closed with immediate effect, or must accommodate no more than 50 persons at any time: Provided that adequate space is available and that all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and limitation of exposure to persons with COVID-19, are adhered to.
(2) All premises selling liquor which provide accommodation must implement measures to stop the spread of COVID-19: Provided that adequate space is available and that all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and limitation of exposure to persons with COVID-19 are adhered to.
(3) No special or events liquor licenses may be considered for approval during the duration of the national state of disaster.
(4) All on-consumption premises selling liquor referred to in sub-regulation (1) must be closed — (i) between 18:00 and 09:00 the next morning on weekdays and Saturdays; and (ii) from 13:00 on Sundays and public holidays.
(5) All off-consumption premises selling liquor must be closed — (i) between 18:00 and 09:00 the next morning on weekdays and Saturdays; and (ii) from 13:00 on Sundays and public holidays.
Restaurants must keep register of patrons
Further to the statement regarding liquor serving hours in restaurants, Wendy Alberts said that restaurants must keep a register of all persons entering the premises.
“This includes the following details: name, surname, address, contact number, identification number and next of kin. Authorities will do inspections and failure to adhere to this will result in the restaurant owner being prosecuted.”
She further said that all liquor - opened, closed, finished or unfinished - must be off the tables by 18:00.
“Please discard any letters or communication that is not from an official government department or gazetted as legislation. Any notifications that have been handed to you by a third party may be incorrect and non-binding,” said Alberts.
Establishments who run into any difficulties may contact Alberts on 083 661 9000 by call or Whatsapp.
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