Government has published regulations limiting the sale, dispensing or transportation of liquor in its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
These include imprisonment and fines for any person who intentionally exposes another person to COVID-19. People who spread fake news over the virus, that has claimed more than 8 000 lives globally, also face prosecution.
The new regulations were gazetted on Wednesday by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
According to the rules, no special or events liquor licenses may be considered for approval during the duration of the National State of Disaster, which was declared by the President on Sunday.
All on-consumption premises selling liquor, like bars, taverns, night clubs, and restaurants, must be closed between 6:00 pm and 09:00 am on weekdays and on Saturdays; and from 1:00 pm on Sundays and public holidays.
Not more than 50 people will be allowed at a time.
These places, including hotels, have also been ordered to adhere to strict hygienic conditions.
Various cities across the country have taken measures to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained.
The South African Rabbinical Association has announced the closure of all synagogues until further notice as a preventative measure in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The South African Jewish Museum; the Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre as well as the Gardens Community Centre have also been closed until further notice.
Table Mountain Cableway has also been closed until at least after the Easter weekend. Visitors are able to reschedule tickets to a later date.
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) March 18, 2020
National State of Disaster
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a raft of measures to try and contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa, including declaring the pandemic a national state of disaster on Sunday.
Ramaphosa said this will help in combating the spread of the virus.
He said cabinet decided to enforce travel bans on foreign nationals from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, Spain, South Korea, the United States, UK, Germany and China.
South Africa has 116 confirmed cases as of the COVID-19, which broke out in China in November 2019. The virus has since spread to different countries globally and has been declared a pandemic by WHO.
Ramaphosa also announced that South African citizens that have visited high-risk countries in the last 20 days will undergo testing and will be required to self-isolate for 20 days.
He further urged South Africans to limit contact with high-risk countries.