Seems almost like a slap in the face, but hot on the heels of a protest march (or drive rather) by those in the tourism industry in Durban today, the South Africa government tweeted it determination to continue the ban on alcohol and tobacco until the end of lockdown.
I do understand the move to a degree. The simple fact of the matter is that when people drink, even if it’s a glass of wine over a lunch, their judgment is impaired. This leads on to another glass of wine, and then another – I have a lot of stories that started off with “we were just going to have one drink and then…”
Fact is, after a drink or two under your belt, maybe you’ll decide you just don’t want to wear a mask for the rest of the night, or wash your hands, or practice social distancing. Or maybe you drive drunk and end up taking a hospital bed that a that someone else desperately needs.
This of course doesn’t help the tourism industry at all. How many restaurants rely on the income from alcohol; from what I understand, it makes up a large portion of a restaurants takings.
What about a compromise? Would it really be so bad if each restaurant was allowed to serve one alcohol beverage per patron? I can’t see how it would. Fact is, it’s not only the restaurants that will continue to suffer, but consider those manufacturing the wines and beers, the drivers delivering to the restaurants, the drivers mates; the list just goes on and on.
As for the smokers out there, they are having to smoke unfamiliar cheaper brands since that’s all that is available on the black market – but smokers surely haven’t stopped smoking, it’s just costing them so much mare. So in this instance it’s really the criminals that are benefiting.
*EDIT – It seems someone may have a little too exuberant in the message tweeted out earlier regarding the tobacco and alcohol ban being extended to the end of lockdown. Seems now the message is that the ban will only be in place for the duration of level 3 lockdown.
I guess the outcry from the public and tobacco and alcohol manufacturers put a halt to someone’s plan.