Joburg night life comes alive as revellers party under level 1 restrictions

Hundreds of partygoers gathered in Joburg’s famous 7th street in Melville to welcome the return of longer opening hours as government eased COVID-19 lockdown measures, a move that some lamented had come too late.

Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - While some medical experts have predicted that parts of the country will start to experience the fourth wave of the pandemic in early December, many South Africans have taken advantage of the relaxed lockdown regulations.

This weekend saw scores of Joburg revellers flooding to restaurants, bars and pubs under the adjusted level one lockdown.

Some venues even had snaking queues as establishments welcomed back more customers.

The Joburg nightlife appears to be gradually returning to normal.

Hundreds of partygoers gathered in Joburg’s famous 7th street in Melville to welcome the return of longer opening hours as government eased COVID-19 lockdown measures, a move that some lamented had come too late.

"So now that local government elections are coming, all of a sudden we can go back to freedom but as soon as that's over we go back to like level four but I'm really not that phased," one patron said.

"We're really not that gullible. What's so serious, what happened now? We're supposed to have an end. It just looks like we're going to do certain things when it suits certain people," another reveller opined.

"I'm actually taking the bus from here and taking it home, so if they could come with a better plan or just wait for the majority of South Africans to get the vaccine," another partygoer added.

The Restaurant Association of South Africa’s Wendy Alberts said that the first weekend under level one saw more people than expected returning to popular eateries and pubs for the first time in ages.

"This weekend certainly spelled very clearly how eager South Africans are to get the restaurants to open. There was a mass demand for restaurants to be able to accommodate demand."

Meanwhile, disappointment awaited those looking to party until the wee hours of the morning as police forced establishments to close by 11pm, under the adjusted regulations.

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