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New Covid-19 rules favour the liquor business fraternity

His Excellency, the president of the Republic of Namibia, Dr Hage G. Geingob, yesterday updated the nation on the economic and social relief measures that form part of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing most of the restrictions eased. 

Among the easing of restrictions, was the sale of alcohol. The president said that the sales of alcohol have now been relaxed till midnight countrywide.

In the first two calls for COVID-19 restrictions, bar owners said mandates threatened their future as most of their businesses closed down due to the ban of alcohol sale, however, the head of states yesterday said that the sale of alcohol by shebeens, bars and nightclubs shall be extended to midnight effective from 1 December 2020. 

During the briefing, the head of states purported that the government is aware of the impact of covid-19 on the economy, with some businesses forced to close down while many individuals lost their jobs. During the first two lockdowns, bar owners complained that the restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 were instead limiting their chances to survive. Their cries for help have been heard and the decision was made in their favour this time. 

“The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation in collaboration with the Namibia Statistics Agency will further ascertain the scope of the impact on business, economy and jobs. Some indicators are clear though. It is against this background that the pace of the economic recovery will depend crucially on policy interventions and actions that will be taken beyond the lockdown. The Government is seized with final preparations for a holistic recovery programme for the nation, as was committed to during the Mid-Term Budget Review in October 2020” Dr Geingob said 

Shebeens, bars and nightclubs’ owners are urged to keep patrons socially distanced and employees masked, with all business premises required to be equipped with functional hand-sanitizer dispensers at all times. 

(Source: press release on the 20th covid-19 public briefing on the national response measures)

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