South Africa lifts alcohol ban as Covid rules ease

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has eased some restrictions imposed due to coronavirus, including lifting an unpopular ban on alcohol sales.

Beaches will reopen and limited religious gatherings will be allowed.

The announcement came as Mr Ramaphosa hailed the arrival of the first shipment of vaccines – one million AstraZeneca doses – as a chance to “turn the tide” on Covid-19.

South Africa has had the most Covid infections and deaths on the continent.

More than 1.4 million people have contracted the virus since the pandemic began, and 44,164 are known have lost their lives, according to Johns Hopkins University research.

 

Many countries have banned travel from South Africa in an effort to stop the spread of the highly infectious 501Y.V2 variant, which is believed to have originated there and which is suspected to be more resistant to vaccines.

<<BBC>>