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Tag: Lockdown level 3 advanced

News: Alcohol Industry blindsided by the ban on alcohol.

South Africa’s alcohol industry has said it was blindsided by government’s immediate reinstatement of the ban on alcohol, warning of a dire economic impact due to likely job losses in the industry.

In a joint statement, the National Liquor Traders Council, South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) , the Beer Association of South Africa, Vinpro, and the Liquor Traders Association of South Africa, said they were shocked and disappointed.

“The industry was given no warning about the ban, nor an opportunity to consult with the National Coronavirus Command Centre (NCCC) before a decision was made and no consideration was given to the immediate logistical difficulties it poses for both suppliers, distributors and retailers alike,” the industry bodies said.

During an address to the nation on Sunday night, Ramaphosa said a surge in emergency hospital admissions had led to the reinstatement of the ban, as South Africa’s Covid-19 cases fast approach the 300 000 mark. The country is in the top 10 globally in terms of case numbers.

But in their statement, the liquor industry representatives said smaller retailers, wineries and taverners would be hardest hit.

The liquor industry has a wide and deep value chain employing almost one million people across the country. The Government’s decision has serious economic consequences, placing hundreds of thousands of livelihoods at risk,” said Salba.

They added that restricting legal alcohol sales will lead to the growth of illicit alcohol trade.

The controversial tobacco ban, which has been in place since the start of lockdown, has similarly sparked fierce debate over a loss of tax revenue and the creation of demand for illicit trade.


Photo Credit: Unsplash

Restaurants can open, but what are the rules?

Restaurant owners and industry bodies have to wait on government to publish the physical distancing guidelines.

Liam Tomlin, proprietor of the Chefs Warehouse chain of restaurants said, the president’s announcement did little in the way of providing clarity on a path to reopening.

“The announcement was very vague and really doesn’t make it any easier for us in planning or making any decisions on the reopening of our businesses or if it will make financial sense to reopen them until we have solid guidelines as to how we can operate,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin asked some important questions,

  • Can we serve alcohol as normal without restrictions on the hours of consumption as we experienced pre-lockdown?
  • How many guests can we have in our space?
  • How many staff can be on site?

Founder of the Beerhouse group and the Hospitality Alliance, Randolph Jorberg, said that with the reopening of food outlets, the sale of alcohol specifically was a make-or-break factor for many.

Comments on social media indicated there are a huge number of customers confirming that they will rather eat at home, with a bottle of liquor bought from a bottle store, if they are not allowed to consume liquor in restaurants.

They now have to wait for the regulations to be published by the government.

Meanwhile, major leisure companies are already implementing their own measures.

The Sun International Group, which operates GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World and Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, published measures that both its restaurant tenants and patrons must adhere to.

“Our new health and safety protocols adhere to travel and tourism industry standard protocols for Covid-19 that were issued by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, and approved by governments health experts as well as an independent epidemiologist,” said Graham Woods, the group’s chief operating officer for hospitality.

These measures include,

  • People maintaining 1.5m distance from each other
  • Menus to be sanitised or disposed upon single use
  • Condiments to be served with meals in a single use package
  • Cutlery and napkins to be provided in a paper sleeve

Tomlin said, any guidelines for restaurants would have to be applied on a case-by-case basis with the responsibilty of social distancing also laying with patrons.

Source: IOL

Photo Credit: Unsplash

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