Coronavirus

Curfew hours reduced in South Africa

The South African government has reduced night curfew hours in an attempt to help struggling restaurants recover from the economic effects of Covid-19.

Curfew hours reduced in South Africa
Mike Hutchings REUTERS

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced the reduction of night curfew hours in South Africa as part of the country's bid to gradually ease lockdown restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.

New curfew hours in South Africa

Restaurant workers look on after police used a water canon to disperse demonstrators protesting against coronavirus lockdown regulations in Cape Town, South Africa, July 24, 2020.

Kubayi-Ngubane announced on Thursday that night curfew hours in the country will be shortened to six hours every night from seven hours. The new curfew hours will be in effect from 22:00 to 4:00 as the country attempts to give the hostelry sector a boost.

Kubayi-Ngubane stated that the decision was made to give an extra hour to restaurants to serve customers and increase income. The Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) asked for more exceptions including permission to sell alcohol after it was previously banned by authorities to lift some pressure from health care facilities and medical staff. However, the minister noted that this is as far as the government is willing to go for the time being.

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“Cabinet has agreed to move the curfew to start at 22:00 to allow for uninterrupted dinner service at restaurants. We believe that this change will go a long way towards increasing their revenue generation. The sale of alcohol remains prohibited, however.” He said.

The minister further explained that due to the high unemployment rate in South Africa as a result of Covid-19 businesses in the sector have been in danger of folding. He added the government is doing everything possible to minimize the impact of the pandemic on the public, confirming that the fluctuating risk of the virus spreading pushed the government to speed up efforts for the sector to re-open.