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Level 3: Green light for takeaways and booze, but tobacco ban remains

In a briefing held on Thursday to shed light on government regulations applicable to Level 3 of South Africa's lockdown, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma confirmed that the ban on cigarettes and related tobacco products will remain in place, but alcohol will be permitted for sale on certain days of the week.

Level 3: Green light for takeaways and booze, but tobacco ban remains

Alert Level 3, to begin on 1 June, will see the opening of retail, and manufacturing has also been completely reopened to produce goods for both local and export markets.

Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel said that while previous alert levels was based on people being at home, Level 3 is based on most South Africans being at work. But he added that activities that bring people in close contact with each other and where frequent disinfecting of surfaces isn’t possible will remain prohibited.



The sale of alcohol will be permitted between Monday and Thursday from 9am to 5pm for home consumption only. E-commerce sales will be subject to the same time restrictions.

Patel said that all licenced premises will be allowed to sell alcohol, including businesses with on-consumption licences like bars, restaurants, taverns and registered shebeens, provided the liquor is sold in sealed containers for off-site consumption.

Patel said Government is working with retailers and producers to address possible risks of Covid-19 transmission at points of sale, and that producers have agreed to continue producing some industrial alcohol to be used for sanitisers and disinfectants.

Prepared foods

Restaurants will remain prohibited from selling meals for sit-down or on-site consumption, but food collections, drive-thus and curbside pick-ups are now allowed. Patel encouraged consumers to place food orders online or via telephone to reduce dwell time in establishments and lower the risk of transmission.


Tobacco products

The sale of cigarettes and tobacco products remain prohibited under Level 3, despite indications that it may be allowed. Dlamini-Zuma reserved comment on the issue of the prohibition other than to say the matter is currently in court and that there’s “plenty of scientific evidence to support the ban”.

Beauty services

Despite pleas from hair and beauty technicians to reopen their businesses, Patel said personal care services will remain closed during Level 3 because of the close contact required with customers. He added that government is working with industry stakeholders to formulate a plan to make these trading conditions safer.

Support for SA brands

Patel reiterated the need for consumers and companies to support local suppliers and businesses that manufacture goods locally to help rebuild South Africa’s economy. He added that retailers have indicated their willingness to support the localisation of supply and to promote locally-made products.

About Lauren Hartzenberg

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