People will not be allowed to carry alcohol in their cars when they visit friends and families over the Easter long weekend, Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced during her media briefing earlier today.
“Over the weekend, the police will be doing roadblocks and stuff. [People] are not allowed to be carrying alcohol and stuff from one place to the other” she said.
Dlamini-Zuma, who briefed the media on the National Coronavirus Command Council’s (NCC) reasoning behind the latest lockdown restrictions, also explained the government’s decision to ban off-site sales over the long weekend.
After President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on Tuesday, where he announced the ban, the SA Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) wanted the government to explain the rationale that informed restrictions on off-site sales only.
Dlamini-Zuma said the decision was a precautionary measure to try and prevent the re-occurrance of what happened in December 2020 when the number of Covid-19 infections started rising rapidly because of gatherings.
“Having learned from what happened in December, we have to take precautions because we know that during the Easter weekend, there are lots of movements. There are lots of gatherings. Besides the faith-based gatherings, there are also all sorts of other gatherings” said Dlamini-Zuma.
In her isiZulu briefind, Dlamini-Zuma explained that when people drink at these gatherings, alcohol clouds their judgment, social distancing gets thrown out the window, and masks are forgotten.
The NCC hoped that on-site traders like restaurants and bars would keep an eye on their patrons to ensure that they adhere to social distancing protocols.
Dlamini-Zuma pleaded with establishments who have on-site licenses not to turn themselves into off-site traders or allow their patrons to take their open bottles with them. The minster also allayed fears that the government intended to extend the off-site sales ban after the Easter weekend. She said off-site alcohol sales would resume on Tuesday morning.