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Bottoms up! Long queues outside liquor stores in Joburg already

Retailers are once again allowed to sell alcohol and cigarettes under level 2 of the lockdown, which kicked in at midnight on Monday.

Employees at The Fridge have also returned to the store for the first time since their jobs came to an abrupt halt last month. Picture: Veronica Mokhoali/EWN

ROODEPOORT - Long queues had already begun to form outside liquor stores in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning, as people look to restock on booze after an unexpected dry spell when stores were suddenly closed over a month ago.

Retailers are once again allowed to sell alcohol and cigarettes under level 2 of the lockdown, which kicked in at midnight on Monday.

Despite government’s assurance that liquor stores will be allowed to trade between 9 am and 5 pm from Monday to Thursday, residents braved the chilly weather on Tuesday morning to secure their places in line at a Makro store in Roodepoort.

The store only opens its doors at 9 am but some customers started queuing from as early as 05:45 am.

Some of the customers in the queue, which extends into the parking lot includes small business and tavern owners, who were there to stock up as bars and pubs prepare to trade on Tuesday.

Other customers said they were early because they were worried government may change its mind on the regulations again.

Lindiwe Khoza who placed herself in front of the growing queue said she was not taking any chances: “I’m just buying enough, just in case there is another lockdown. Once bitten, twice shy and we have to be ready. We don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Stores across South Africa would have to ensure that all social distancing protocols are in place.

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