South Africa News

SA lockdown: Restaurant Association calls for lifting of curfew to operate effectively

The Restaurant Association of South Africa on Monday said restaurants could not trade effectively without the curfew being lifted.

On Sunday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will move from level 4 COVID-19 restrictions to adjusted level 3.

Non-essential establishments like restaurants, taverns, bars, and fitness centres may be opened. However, these establishments need to close by 9 pm.

Restaurant Association of SA CEO Wendy Alberts said they were clear with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on what the industry needed financially: “We are gravely disappointed that the needs of the restaurant industry have not been heard. We are calling on the government to open up binds of communication and consult with us urgently.”

Alberts said the current legislation was confusing: “We have to stop selling alcohol by 8 pm, and curfew starts at 10. We have asked to trade our restaurants until 10 pm and that is certainly a responsible way to promote the wellness of the operators in our business and also a way to allow the patrons to enjoy dinner in our businesses.”

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato has welcomed the easing of restrictions to adjusted alert level 3.

Plato said the move was much needed as many businesses had been under severe strain.

“I am pleased with President Ramaphosa’s address. It certainly means that more businesses can open and operate more freely. Alcohol sales can now take place in restaurants and this will allow the sector to lift up a little bit.”

He also noted that people between the ages of 18 and 34 would be eligible for the vaccine from 1 September. The mayor said this would move the country closer to an end to the need for a further lockdown, which impacted on livelihoods.

-EWN

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