Government can't put more pressure on restaurants over COVID, says association

Amid concern over the COVID-19 third wave, the Restaurant Association said it simply could not afford further restrictions.

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CAPE TOWN - Amid concern over the COVID-19 third wave, the Restaurant Association on Monday said it simply could not afford further restrictions.

South Africa currently has more than 82,700 active cases, with 7,657 new infections being recorded on Sunday – 68% of them being in Gauteng.

With the COVID-19 infection rate rising, there are growing calls for stricter lockdown regulations.

However, the association's Wendy Alberts said authorities could not put more pressure on the industry.

“When we went through the same advocacy last year, we lost 70% of our current business time trade and we had lost close to 350,000 jobs. Over the last couple of months, we’ve rebuilt the industry and we’re only still trading at 60% capacity.”

She said government should've been better prepared.

“We knew there was a third wave coming. Government should have been talking to many industries - not only the restaurant [industry] - on how we could safely manage this. The mistake government always makes is that they leave everything to the last minute and it impacts people who are contributing to the GDP.”

Alberts added that authorities must rather focus on speeding up the vaccine rollout or curb other industries should the need arise.

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