South Africans are reminded that they will not be able to buy alcoholic beverages between 5pm on Thursday until Monday morning.
National police spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo said anyone found buying or selling alcohol between those designated times would face the might of the law.
“From 5pm on Thursday until Monday morning, people are not allowed to carry liquor. We want to prevent people from getting intoxicated and getting together. We would be opening an avenue for them to start parties, which will cause a further spread of the disease,” he said.
“This is not saying it’s illegal to drink – just don’t drink in public or attempt to buy through the illicit trade.”
The limitations on the sale of alcohol was one of the level 3 regulations announced by cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday afternoon.
The regulations state that the sale of cigarettes, tobacco and related products continue to be banned.
Alcohol can only be sold at businesses with valid liquor licences, and you cannot drink the alcohol where you buy it. Pubs, bars, taverns and shebeens – provided they are licensed – will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption.
“If people are going to be conveying liquor on weekends, it allows for the potential of illicit trade. It’s not illegal to have alcohol in your vehicle. You can consume alcohol any time. But you can’t buy it during these times,” said Naidoo.
Alcohol sales on public holidays remain prohibited, and no special liquor licences will be issued for events.