The President expressed his concern on 15 June 2021 about the severity of the third wave of infections currently spreading across the country, and announced the following measures in an effort to reduce the number of new active cases over the next few weeks, while the vaccine roll-out is gaining momentum.
Specifically take note of Regulation 44 of the Government Gazette:
- A stricter curfew has been implemented (22:00 – 04:00), but for restaurants, bars and other establishments who serve liquor, the curfew is from 21:00 – 04:00.
- Trading hours for the sale of alcohol for home consumption are limited to Monday to Thursday, 10:00 – 18:00.
- Trading hours for the sale of alcohol for on-consumption remains unchanged, and may continue during all licenced trading hours from Monday to Sunday.
- Registered wine cellars and wine farms may, however, continue to present wine tastings and sell wine for home consumption during all normal licenced trading hours, including weekends and public holidays. This regulation bodes very well for the wine industry, and specifically for wine tourism that has been adversely affected by the previous restrictions.
- The consumption of alcohol in public spaces such as beaches and parks is strictly forbidden.
- Events, including religious gatherings, may not exceed 50% of its capacity, up to a maximum of 50 persons indoors and 100 outdoors. Note the detailed guidelines in Regulation 36.
- The export of wine, including all transport per road, to any harbour and/or across the border to any neighbouring country(ies) is allowed.
- The transport of wine and/or other liquor products by the public, and/or as part of distribution and delivery, is also allowed.
“Our requests for the implementation of a more risk-based approach have been heeded, and we are relieved that the South African government has not imposed stricter national restrictions that could have had an even more adverse effect on our wine cellars and wine tourism destinations over the next few weeks,” says Vinpro MD Rico Basson.
These outcomes were aligned with ongoing consultation between Vinpro and the Western Cape Government, as well as the respective national government departments, including a specific presentation to the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza, during which we re-emphasised the industry’s essential economic contribution, job creation and the important role of tourism in the broader wine and agricultural sectors.
“We share the President’s concern about the new wave of infections and therefore would like to urgently call on every individual and business in our industry to adhere to the preventive measures and to continue to apply the existing safety protocols diligently,” Basson says.