President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday 11 July said restaurants and other eateries may resume operations but under a specific set of restrictions. He also addressed the alcohol ban – here’s what you need to know.
Level 4 lockdown: Restaurant operations
Under the newly adjusted Level 4 restrictions, restaurants and eateries may resume business and allow sit-ins of no more than 50 people. Smaller venues can’t exceed 50% capacity, Ramaphosa said.
“Such establishments may not accommodate more than 50 people at a time or, for smaller venues, more than 50% of their normal capacity.”
Ramaphosa called on all South Africans to wear their masks at all times and adhere to Covid-19 protocols as the virus “spreads at funerals, at office meetings, at parties, at family occasions, and at restaurants and taverns”.
“We also know that as more people move, the virus moves with them”.
He said curfews reduce movement and “limit late-night social gatherings that increase the potential for transmission”.
Alcohol ban remains in place
The sale of alcohol remains prohibited under level 4. Ramaphosa said it’s proven the restrictions on alcohol sales “reduce the number of admission at hospitals and emergency rooms with alcohol-related trauma”.
Moreover, he says reducing alcohol alcohol-related trauma such as motor vehicle accidents and violent attacks, “frees up much-needed capacity in our health facilities to deal with Covid-19 cases”.
“Alcohol abuse is also associated with gatherings and non-adherence to public health regulations. At the same time, we know and recognise the vital contribution of the alcohol industry to our economy,” he said.
The Restaurant Association of South Africa (Rasa) on Sunday in an open letter said Ramaphosa was destroying the industry while stressing the importance to resume operations and allowing staff to return to work.
“Restaurants have shown the highest respect for following all the prescribed covid protocols and regulations given to us throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic”, Rasa said.
“Government simply doesn’t care that our industry that is being destroyed”.