Implications of adjusted level 4 for the wine industry

by | Jun 28, 2021 | Covid-19

On Monday, 27 June, President Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would move to an adjusted Covid-19 Level 4 from 28 June 2021.

“We share the President’s concern over the sudden and severe spike in positive Covid-19 cases and related deaths and understand the need for drastic measures to address it, but we are disappointed and deeply concerned by the blanket approach that government has taken yet again with regard to alcohol trade to curb the spread, as opposed to a risk-based and differentiated approach,” says Vinpro MD Rico Basson.

“We truly believe limitations on wine sales could be imposed in a less damaging manner that would alleviate the impact on the healthcare system and decrease transmission, while still helping to preserve livelihoods.”

See the latest regulations in Government Gazette No 44772. The relevant sections have been marked in yellow, but in summary:

  • A curfew will be in place from 21:00 to 4:00, and all non-essential establishments need to close by 20:00 (p 8).
  • All indoor or outdoor gatherings are prohibited, with specific exceptions (p 10 & 11).
  • Accommodation establishments may operate at 50% capacity, and their dining facilities and restaurants may offer room service and delivery of food and non-alcoholic beverages only (p 11).
  • Taverns, restaurants and similar establishments may only be open for sales of food and non-alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption (p 15).
  • The sale, dispensing and distribution of liquor is prohibited (p 17).
  • The transportation of liquor is prohibited, except if transported for export purposes, or where alcohol is required for industries producing hand sanitiser, disinfectants, etc. (p 16 & 17).

Vinpro and Salba has submitted an urgent request to the relevant government departments to approve exemptions to the ban on the transportation of wine, including the transport of wine samples to laboratories or for wine competitions.

In the interim, view the following legal opinions by Danie Cronjé Attorneys:
Transport of bulk wine to bottling plants
Transport of wine samples

Should you or any of your team members require a travel permit for work purposes, you may use the following updated travel permit.

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