South Africans will be able to buy alcohol from Monday for the first time in two months, as the government eases one of the toughest lockdowns in the world.
The alcohol ban was introduced to enable the police and hospitals to better focus on tackling the coronavirus.
Alcohol can now be sold from Monday to Thursday only for consumption at home.
The ban was introduced at the start of the lockdown in order, above all, to free up hospital beds. And also to reduce domestic violence.
Alcohol-fuelled violence is a huge problem in South Africa, particularly at weekends.
Doctors and police say the ban has had a dramatic impact, contributing to sharp drop in casualty admissions.
But the country’s brewers and its wine makers have complained that they’re being driven out of business. And the government has lost a fortune in tax revenues.
South Africa is easing some lockdown restrictions, hoping to revive its economy at a time when the infection rate is starting to rise.
Cape Town is currently experiencing a sharp spike, and other major cities are expected to follow suit.
The country is also grappling with a serious shortage of testing equipment.
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