South Africa lifts second alcohol banBy Melita Kiely
A second ban on alcohol sales in South Africa has been lifted as the nation gets to grips with the Covid-19 crisis.
South Africa introduced a ban on alcohol sales on 27 March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which was lifted on 1 June.
However, the ban was reinstated on 12 July without warning, making South Africa the only country that has re-introduced a complete prohibition on alcohol sales.
On Saturday (15 August), South African president Cyril Ramaphosa announced “the suspension of the sale of alcohol will be lifted subject to certain restrictions”. The change is effective from today (17 August).
In an address to the nation he said: “Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 10pm.
“Liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 9am to 5pm only.”
Dr Ivan Meyer, the Western Cape minister of agriculture, welcomed the news.
He said: “I welcome the resumption of local trade and distribution. The resumption of sales and distribution will save lives and livelihoods.”
Trade association Spirits Europe had urged the South African government to advise when it will lift the complete ban on alcohol sales in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which it warned was having a “devastating” impact on distillers.