President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the immediate suspension of the sale of alcohol to alleviate the pressure placed on hospitals by alcohol-related incidents. He said this was necessary to conserve beds in hospitals for Covid-19 patients.
“There is now clear evidence that the resumption of alcohol sales has resulted in substantial pressure being put on hospitals, including trauma and ICU units, due to motor vehicle accidents, violence and related trauma ,” Ramaphosa said.
The president has also announced the implementation of a new curfew from 9 pm to 4 am. Only people who are travelling to and from work and those travelling to hospital will be allowed out during this time, Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa also announced that the wearing of masks in public is mandatory and that steps will be taken to firm up the regulations governing it. He said that many people had been lax when it came to the wearing of masks and that this had contributed to spreading the coronavirus.
Employers, managers, and business owners have a legal obligation to ensure compliance with the regulations around masks, Ramaphosa said.
Another significant change in the regulations is that taxis operating locally may load 100 percent of its capacity but that windows must remain open during the entire journey. For long distance journeys, the regulations remain unchanged.