Alcohol & restaurant sectors welcome move to level 1

On Thursday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa placed the country under alert level 1 lockdown effective from Friday.

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CAPE TOWN - Sectors including the alcohol and restaurant industries can breathe a sigh of relief as business is expected to pick up following the announcement of relaxed lockdown measures.

On Thursday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa placed the country under alert level 1 lockdown effective from Friday.

Alcohol sales for both on-site and off-site consumption are now permitted as per normal but no alcohol sales will be allowed after 11pm.

This has been welcomed by the National Liquor Traders Council, however, its convenor, Lucky Ntimane, said that the industry could not do with another round of harsher restrictions as a result of the looming fourth wave.

"We call on government to in future consider alternatives to alcohol bans precisely because bans on alcohol have not been proven to be an effective measure to containing COVID-19. If anything, they've created a second pandemic, which is poverty amongst our liquor traders."

For its part, the restaurant industry was a bit more optimistic by the move.

The curfew has now moved between 12pm and 4am, meaning that non-essential facilities such as restaurants, bars and fitness centers must close at 11pm.

Restaurants Association of South Africa CEO Wendy Alberts said that they were delighted by the implementation of alert level 1.

"Any type of reprieve is a positive for the industry because it allows us to open up the value trading, brings more people back to work, it creates employment, it's an opportunity for us to open new restaurants. The last 18 months has shown how decimated the industry has been. Positive moves like this really enhance the morale for our restauranteurs."

WATCH: Lockdown regulations eased further as SA moves to alert level 1

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