The Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) has urged community members to report non-compliance with Covid safety protocols at pubs, taverns and other liquor outlets to the nearest police station or to the ECLB. The Board said some liquor outlets had become super spreaders of Covid-19 in the Eastern Cape and they strongly condemned traders who flouted trading conditions and Covid 19 health protocols.
“The Board is deeply concerned with cases of non-compliance by liquor outlets to Covid 19 health protocols, especially as the Province grapples with the rapid resurgence of Covid 19 cases,” CEO Dr Nombuyiselo Makala said in a statement.
“It is extremely concerning that our people have become so complacent and are behaving as if Covid 19 does not exist at all.”
The Board had observed, with serious concern, that patrons who frequent liquor outlets completely disregard Covid 19 protocols. This included that:
- Patrons don’t wear masks and fail to observe social distancing;
- Some liquor outlets allow overcrowding in their establishments, which invariably undermines social distancing;
- Some liquor outlets ignore the trading times and trade outside the regulated trading hours.
“Prevention of the spread of the Covid 19 is a responsibility of everyone including the patrons who visit the liquor outlets; it cannot be left only to the discretion of the liquor traders,” Makala said.
Makala said that in response, the Board was intensifying its efforts to enforce compliance with Covid-19 restrictions and liquor licenses, as follows:
- Regular visits to liquor outlets are being conducted to clamp down on those that do not comply with regulations;
- Where liquor outlets are found to be flouting regulations, strict measures are taken to ensure that such a behaviour does not recur;
- Communities are being educated on the dangers of reckless consumption of alcohol, which may exacerbate Covid-19 cases in the Province.
“We urge members of the community to consume alcohol responsibly in the comfort of their homes,” Makala said.
The Board urges community members to report any cases of non-compliance to the nearest police station or to the ECLB toll free complaints line 0800 000 420 or WhatsApp Number 076 403 6223.