A massive, concerted effort to limit the spread of coronavirus in South Africa has kicked into fifth gear. Following strict travel and social distancing measures, the government have now confirmed that pubs, bars, restaurants and shebeens must shut down earlier than usual. The laws are in place until further notice.
Bars and restaurants to close early under new coronavirus guidelines
The regulations – issued in terms of section 27 of the Disaster Management Act 2002 – have been implemented by the Department of Public Service and Administration. The crackdown follows similar steps taken in Spain, Italy and France, where public lockdown have been implemented to halt the outbreak.
The announcement comes on the same day President Cyril Ramaphosa warned the public that drinking “excessive amounts” of alcohol should be avoided at all costs. The impact of heavy drinking can compromise one’s immune system, making them more vulnerable to the coronavirus.
However, the newly introduced guidelines are in place to limit the local transmission of COVID-19 between citizens. They include the following…
COVID-19: When will pubs, bars and restaurants close in South Africa?
- All bars, pubs, shebeens and a number of restaurants will be asked to close at 18:00 from Monday to Saturday.
- Kicking-out time is 13:00 on a Sunday – they are only allowed to open at 9:00 each day.
- The sale of alcoholic beverages after 22:00 is forbidden.
- Regulations state that a gathering of more than 50 persons at a night club, tavern or shebeen is prohibited
- Liquor premises which accommodate more than 100 persons, including taverns, restaurants and clubs, must be closed with immediate effect, or must be limited to no more than 50 persons.
- Failing to comply with the regulations is an offence and, on conviction, liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
- As an aside, any person who makes a misrepresentation that he, she or any other person is infected with the COVID-19 virus may be prosecuted of the offence of fraud.