Level 4 update: Suddenly hotels may fill up again, and booze removed from restaurants

Business Insider SA
  • The rules for Alert Level 4 lockdown saw their first update on Tuesday, less than two days into the two-week minimum it is intended to last.
  • A 50% limit on occupied rooms for hotels and bed-and-breakfasts has been lifted.
  • So has a gatherings requirement that stores of all kinds only operate at 50% occupancy.
  • Alcohol may still not be transported in general, but may now be moved for safekeeping.
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After less than two days of operation, the lockdown rules governing Alert Level 4 saw their first update on Tuesday, with immediate impact for accommodation businesses, retailers of every kind, and booze exporters.

The 8-page amendment from co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma scraps a rule, published and implemented on Monday, that allowed hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and other accommodation establishments to use only 50% of their rooms. They are now "allowed full capacity of the available rooms", as long as patrons keep social distance, and keep their masks on, when they are in shared spaces.

Also scrapped is a similar rule for all retail businesses, which previously demanded they admit only so many people as would take up half their available floorspace. Retailers are now again bound only by the general provisions for all businesses, and sector-specific rules, which have long been in place, with no special Level 4 rules.

See also | Expect more roadblocks around Gauteng checking for travel permits – especially at toll plazas

The amendments were published after a media briefing where Dlamini Zuma stressed that livelihoods were being protected, and said most industries were operating normally.

Also slightly changed are the rules on transport alcoholic drinks, which is forbidden except in specific circumstances. On Monday there were only two exceptions: alcohol being exported, and alcohol being moved as part of a process to manufacture hand sanitiser or other cleaning products.

Now there are two more: when booze is moved from manufacturing and storage, and when it is "being transported from any licensed premises for safe keeping".

See also | Consol’s on-again, off- again R1.5bn investment may be off again, if the alcohol ban bites

During the previous alcohol ban, restaurants and bottle stores were the targets of theft.

The amendment also makes provision for the "winter vacation learner support program for grade 11 and 12 learners" to go ahead, despite schools being closed.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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