South Africa Level 3 lockdown began on Monday, June 1st. While tobacco remains banned, restrictions on purchasing liquor lifted. Liquor outlets said they were prepared for many customers. But, some liquor shops emptied their shelves in a matter of hours. Videos and photos posted up on social media show that massive queues formed. In some of them, customers waiting to whet their whistle sang and cheered.
South Africa level 3 alcohol sales under some restrictions
SAns Newsfeed reported last week, that some cigarette smokers grew unhappy that the liquor ban got removed. Unfortunately for them, they still go without their vice. Anticipating a massive rush and bulk-buying of alcohol products, liquor retailers quickly put in limitations of quantities drinkers can purchase. Nobody wanted to see the massive queues and bulk-buying that took place ahead of Level 5.
IOL reported that retailers seemed concerned because “the government could hold the liquor industry accountable for preventing overcrowding.” Liquor shops may open from Monday through Thursdays, which seems fairly reasonable, many people think. However, some people acted as though this might be their last chance to get their hands on the precious liquid.
Liquor shop sells out in hours, massive queues
Times Live reported that a Melville liquor shop in Johannesburg revealed empty shelves. That came just hours after the 9 a.m. opening hour. However, it seems that most people brave the long queues in a reasonably responsible manner. Security guards at some outlets maintain social distancing. Spirits run high in the queues. Actually, some popple, say they camped out overnight. Possibly, people fear a reversal on the ban. After all, they got promised before, that alcohol would be available. Then, like the cigarette ban, it got rescinded at the 11th hour.
On Twitter, many people post videos, photos, and comments on the queues in South Africa. One person said, “How do we categorize these people lining up outside liquor stores? They…not at work on a Monday, or going to work. They are outside #Liquorshops, to BUY alcohol. They lined up long before even shops opened. What kind of society is this?” One video showed people singing as they stood in the long, winding lines.
Drinkers cheer as a first customer runs off with his stash in South Africa
The press stood by hoping for comments. But once they got their hands on their alcohol, some people scampered off with it. In the video below, people cheer as a customer runs off gleefully with his pack of booze.
Meanwhile, @Mr Borry Comedian said on his Twitter account, “Welcome to South Africa where queues at #Liquorshops are longer than university registration queues.” While people laugh and cheer, some grow concerned at the abuse of liquor. One person noted that the video shot below came only a few hours after liquor shops opened. It’s not clear though, that video is current.
It certainly seems that despite financial hardship and the loss of income during the lockdown levels, people put some cash aside for this day.
What do you think of these photos and videos on the first day that liquor shops opened in level 3 in South Africa? Sound off in the comments.
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