Covid-19 in Eastern Cape South Africa has taken a negative turn for the country prompting level 3 lockdown rumors.
A network of spotters – funded by the liquor industry – is to be set up in the Eastern Cape, to find and report booze sellers that fail to heed coronavirus rules.
The group of “community patrollers” will have police on speed dial to report any rule violations – which can arrest bar and shebeen owners on criminal grounds under disaster-management rules – the eastern cape liquor board is willing to revoke liquor licenses in sever cases.
Police stations in covid hotspots are due to get ten such patrollers each, all operating in their designated hotspots to enforce new stringent rules on alcohol hotspots.
A massive surge in covid infections in the Nelson Mandela Bay area, in particular, has raised the specter of rules being tightened either for hotspots or for the Eastern Cape as a whole. That could conceivably mean a reinstatement of the total ban on alcohol sales previously imposed on a national level – during a festive season that traditionally accounts for a healthy proportion of annual sales.
It is not clear If liquor outlets may be contributing to the second wave of infections, but there is consensus that drinking establishments are not universally following rules such as maintaining occupancy at 50% of their maximum capacity.