Much booze.
  • The Adjusted Level 2 restrictions now in place for South Africa means curfew starts one hour later, at 23:00.
  • But you can be served alcohol for two more hours than before, right until restaurants and bars must close at 22:00.
  • Previously they were required to stop selling booze an hour before they had to close up, so last call was at 20:00.
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South Africa's curfew will start one hour later tonight, at 23:00, under the Adjusted Alert Level 2 rules that were formally published on Sunday night following President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement of the step down from Level 3.

But even though South Africans are only allowed to be on the street for an hour longer, they can from tonight spend two hours longer drinking at a shebeen or restaurant.

Under Level 2, the written regulations confirm, licensed establishments may serve alcohol until 22:00 every night. That is when they must also close their doors, under a long-standing policy that, in order for employees to make it home in time, places of entertainment must close an hour before curfew.

Under the Level 3 regulations previously in force, taverns and bars were required to have their last calls at 20:00 and close up at 21:00, ahead of the 22:00 curfew.

The extra hour for on-site alcohol sales come alongside the extension for booze sales by bottle stores to include Fridays – though that will not include Heritage Day on 24 September, as they are still required to be closed on public holidays as well as Saturdays and Sundays.

Some bottle store owners had hoped to also be granted longer trading hours, but their cutoff remains at 18:00, as it was under Level 2.

Restaurants have welcomed the longer trading hours, ahead of the summer season that traditionally sees people eating out later, and spending more. 

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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