COVID-19 regulations limit alcohol sale hours

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Government gazetted regulations on the national state of disaster have directed that taverns, restaurants and clubs must be closed by 6pm.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma gazetted the regulations, which outline rules that need to be adhered to by the general public, on Wednesday.

According to the regulations, the assembly of more than 50 persons at premises where liquor is sold and consumed is prohibited.

“All on-consumption premises selling liquor, including taverns, restaurants and clubs, must be closed with immediate effect, or must accommodate no more than 50 persons at any time - provided that adequate space is available and that all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and limitation of exposure to persons with COVID-19, are adhered to.”

All on-consumption premises selling liquor must be closed between 6pm and 9am the next morning on weekdays and Saturdays; and from 1pm on Sundays and public holidays.

These times will also apply to all off-consumption premises selling liqour.

The regulations state that in order to contain the spread of COVID-19, gatherings are prohibited.

“An enforcement officer must, where a gathering takes place order the persons at the gathering to disperse immediately; and if they refuse to disperse, take appropriate action, which may, subject to the Criminal Procedure Act, include arrest and detention,” reads the gazetted document.

Any person who convenes a gathering; permits more than 50 persons at a premises where liquor is sold and consumed is guilty of 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 imprisonment.

The regulations state that no special or events liquor licenses may be considered for approval during the duration of the national state of disaster. – 

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