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BATSA says legal clarity is still needed on tobacco sale ban

The organisation is among other industry bodies that lodged court action against the government’s decision to prohibit the sale of the products four months ago.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - As the country enters the first phase of lockdown level two allowing among others the sale of tobacco products, British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) said legal clarity was needed on its sales ban.

The organisation is among other industry bodies that lodged court action against the government’s decision to prohibit the sale of the products four months ago.

BATSA said it expected a ruling from the Western Cape High Court in the upcoming week on its challenge over the legality of the government decision to suspend tobacco sales.

On Monday, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma affirmed that tobacco and alcohol sales, the opening of nature reserves and interprovincial travel were just some of the relaxations of regulations under level two.

WATCH: Tobacco, alcohol, inter-provincial travel & curfew - level 2 lockdown amendments

“As we continue with our fight against this COVID-19 virus, we aim to limit hardships and there no desire to leave stringent prohibitions in place when they are no longer necessary.”

Despite this, the government implored South Africans not to act irresponsibly and follow all hygiene protocols to avoid a surge of COVID-19 infections.

Restaurants, bars and taverns will be allowed to open and serve alcohol until 10 pm, maintaining the 50 people maximum capacity rule.

However, nightclubs will remain shut and night vigils are still not allowed.

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