As COVID cases rise, NLTC urges govt not to tighten alcohol sales restrictions

Several bans on liquor sales imposed since South Africa was placed under a state of disaster more than a year ago helped free up bed space in trauma units but hit the alcohol industry hard.

FILE: SAB beer crates are being gathered as the Fenyane Bottle store prepares for alcohol sales to resume on 18 August 2020. Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 10pm. Vosloorus, Ekuerhuleni. Picture: Sthembiso Zulu/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The National Liquor Traders Council (NLTC) has urged government not to impose tough COVID-19 restrictions on the sale of alcohol.

Much of South Africa is gripped by the third wave of infections.

Several bans on liquor sales imposed since South Africa was placed under a state of disaster more than a year ago helped free up bed space in trauma units but hit the alcohol industry hard.

The council's Lucky Ntimane said: "Liquor traders and certainly taverners are united in the fight against COVID-19 and we are doing everything possible to keep our customers and staff safe. No one will come to a tavern expecting to misbehave or disregard the safety protocols. We won't accept it."

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