Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize announced that South Africa has now officially entered a second wave of COVID-19, and as a result, the national government is considering a number of steps that can be taken to ensure that safety protocols are in place over the festive season.
The Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) says that government has asked it to survey the position of each restaurant’s on-site alcohol sales. They will also be required to outline the measures they will have in place to improve their compliance with COVID-19 prevention protocols.
Speaking to BusinessTech, the Association’s spokesperson Wendy Alberts said that RASA has demanded to see the “scientific document” that suggested that restaurant on-site alcohol sales may lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
“I will continue to demand the scientific evidence so we can properly address where exactly the apparent risk sits,” she said. “We have approved protocols in place and now we have been called without notice to urgently supply a solution with no sight of what the exact risk is. Government has had months to talk to us and now, on-demand, want a solution.”
The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government is considering closing beaches during the festive season to curb the spread of the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in the province.
Bheki Ntuli, the province’s MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liasion, said that he is in talks with health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu about the possibility of closing the province’s beaches during the festive period.
Mkhize also said that national government may also be considering additional restrictions for the Garden Route District in the Western Cape as a means of curbing the impact of a second COVID-19 wave in the hotspot area.
Some of the restrictions for the district may include limitations on the following:
– swimming pools
– large activities in parks
– gatherings on beaches
– public halls