Alcohol alliance concerned about eased sales under level 1 lockdown

The alliance is questioning whether allowing alcohol sales to resume as normal is wise with several public holidays coming up.

FILE: It argues people tend to drink more over these holidays and super spreader events are organised around them, posing a risk for higher infection. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance has reacted to the latest easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, warning government may have moved too quickly.

The alliance is on Monday questioning whether allowing alcohol sales to resume as normal is wise with several public holidays coming up.

It argues people tend to drink more over these holidays and super spreader events are organised around them, posing a risk for higher infection.

“But there is a bigger issue. We have noted the ongoing calls – by the president, Cabinet members, premiers and other politicians, as well as public health practitioners and civil society organisations – for new and tougher legislation to manage alcohol in South Africa now and post-COVID-19.

“However, we are concerned that there have been no public statements – by anyone in government – advising the people of South Africa of what is being done in this regard and when such measures will be introduced. If legislation such as the Liquor Amendment Bill is not passed urgently, the levels of consumption and of the harmful use of alcohol will stay high and continue to pose a threat to the health, safety and wellbeing of our people – drinkers and non-drinkers alike – now and after the pandemic,” the alliance said in a statement.

While he's eased curbs, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the threat of a third wave was constantly present.

WATCH: SA moves back to Level 1 lockdown

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