Lobby group wants more restrictions on booze during festive season

Lobby group wants more restrictions on booze during festive season

The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (Saapa) has called on government to impose stricter regulations on alcohol during the upcoming festive season.

alcohol bucket generic

The lobby group believes alcohol consumption at mass gatherings will contribute to a surge in Covid-19 infections.  

“From SAAPA’s perspective, we understand that alcohol has an impact on how people are able to adhere to Covid measures like social distancing and wearing a mask,” says the group’s Aadielah Maker.

“As we go into the festive season, we know that traditionally alcohol is associated with the festive season. This is despite the fact that less than 31% of people drink, the people who drink, they drink alcohol during the festive season and tend to generally drink heavily. This results in people not being able to think more rationally and influences how people behave towards each other.”

Maker says tougher restrictions on booze sales could also save lives on the country’s roads in December and January.

“We think that there is going to be an increase of people traveling across the country wanting to spend time with their families. When you have people on the road drinking, that just increases the chances of car crashes and injuries. Also we have young people who have had a rough academic year who want to celebrate finishing matric, university and that is traditionally associated with alcohol.

“Now when you have those situations, it creates environments in which people become more daring, a bit more reckless and not adhering and that creates (Covid-19) hotspots.”  

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