If you’re wondering why #TheReturnOfAlcohol has been trending since the early hours of the morning, you probably just woke up from a deep slumber or you’ve just returned from a retreat high up in the mountains somewhere.
This is the day, you know? South Africa entered lockdown level 2 at midnight and, with the exception of international travel, the economy is back up and running. Alcohol and cigarette sales are back in full swing following pres. Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of a risk-adjusted strategy of balancing livelihoods and saving lives in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.
Level two, however, comes with a stern warning. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, urges the nation to adhere to strict lockdown protocols, including the washing of hands, sanitising, wearing of masks and social distancing at all times.
“If we don’t, we will see the next wave of infection or possibly an even bigger surge which we would like to avoid,” she said. “We are in it for the long haul and must remain vigilant.”
Dlamini Zuma adds that alcohol must be consumed responsibly, and citizens have also been warned to not incite or act violently towards women and children. Smokers must also not share cigarettes.
In case you missed it, here are all the prominent changes you have to take to heart: You are confined to your place of residence from 22:00 until 04:00, except if you have been granted a permit. The wearing of face masks in public are compulsory, including on any form of public transport, or when entering a public building, place or premises. If you don’t want to wear a mask, just stay home.
What’s new in level two?
- social events at a place of residence with no more than 10 visitors;
- fitness centres, gyms and swimming pools with no more than 50 persons;
- beaches and public parks;
- museums, galleries, libraries and archives;
- personal care services, including hairdressing, beauty treatments, make-up and nails salons and piercing and tattoo parlours;
- bars, taverns, shebeens, and similar establishments, further subject to a limitation of 50 persons or less;
- and all accommodation establishments and tour operators.
What remains closed?
- Sorry, we know you’re itching to dance, but night clubs remain closed.
- International passenger air travel for leisure purposes.
- Passenger ships for international leisure purposes.
- Attendance of any sporting event by spectators.
- International sports events.
‘I do not run government’
In case you missed it, Dlamini-Zuma also addressed a widely-held assumption that she was running government instead of Ramaphosa, describing this as “disingenuous.” “I think people are giving me too much credit that I do not deserve. I do not run the government, I am part of a collective in government,” she affirms, adding that she “was merely doing her job” by signing off on collective decisions made by government. “Picking on me as though I am the only one that has decided… Yes, I am the one who signs off. Some people think it’s easier to find a scapegoat. That is part of life.”