Prior to the country moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 Lockdown, we visited and inspected 273 alcohol selling premises.

It is with disappointment to note that after all these efforts to assist businesses comply with regulations, we found some still not ready today.

Buffalo City has moved to Level 3 after the announcement by the President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday 24 May 2020 that the entire country would move from level 4 to level 3.

This includes the full reopening of the retail sector as well as the sale of alcohol. However, the country’s level 3 regulations outline a number of exclusions, including: The consumption of food and beverages at or in a place of sale including restaurants retail outlets, convenience stores or informal traders and on-site consumption of liquor.

This morning some residents of the Metro were seen queuing outside liquor stores and not practicing social distancing.

Buffalo City Metro has been identified as one of the epicenters of COVID-19, the Metro urges businesses to adhere to the regulations of making sure that customers maintain the 2 meter social distancing and wearing their masks.

Our Disaster Management together with SAPS visited the one such crowded premise in Oxford Street, East London and discovered that the manager was using a list where the buyers identified themselves as to how they were first to arrive.

The list is what caused the buyers to not adhere to social distancing. We then advised that they let people queue normally using the red mark stickers.

We urge all businesses to adhere to the safety regulations and sellers must at all times ensure the safety of our people.

Recommendations to stores:
• The store must not exceed 50 customers at any given time inside the store.
• The queue outside must clearly be marked and monitored by the Security for social Distancing
• Entrance and Exit must be separated
• Markings must be done on the outside and inside of the store
• Constant monitoring to ensure customers keep the required distancing in the queues going towards the tills must be done by the employees.

Enforcement of Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 and Regulation no 398 of 25 March 2020 , section 11 B (iv)(c) stating the store must put in place measures to ensure that customers keep a distance of at least 1 sqm from each other, and that all directions in respect of Hygienic conditions and exposure to persons to COVID- 19 are adhered to. The Municipality is calling on all shops and businesses to comply with regulations.