Police crackdown in South Africa to enforce coronavirus restrictions
Police minister Bheki Cele has warned that police will proactively monitor and enforce coronavirus regulations and restrictions in South Africa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people.
The Cooperative Governance Ministry has added additional restrictions, which include that pubs and clubs would be limited to 50 patrons at a time.
The sale of alcohol at bars, restaurants, and shebeens is also not allowed to continue past 18:00.
The regulations have effectively shut down night clubs and bars, as they are forced to close between 18:00 and 09:00 on weekdays and Saturdays.
On Sundays and public holidays, any establishment which sells alcohol must be closed between 13:00 and 06:00.
People and establishments who do not adhere to these new restrictions face a fine or jail time of up to six months.
Speaking to eNCA, Cele said they are appointing spotters to monitor restaurants and bars to ensure they adhere to the restrictions.
He said there is a specific focus on places which sell food and alcohol.
“If you break those laws the police will disperse the people there, if there are more than 50, and we will take the owner in detention,” he said.
Cele added that people who organise events of over 50 people also face the event being broken up and the organisers being taken into custody.
Cele said restaurants must keep a register of every person who visits the establishment along with the time of their visit.
He said this is necessary to ensure that everyone who visited the restaurant can be traced if a person who tested positive for coronavirus also visited the establishment.