The sale of cigarettes – and liquor – remain prohibited during the lockdown enforced in a bid to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2, in South Africa.
On Sunday, reports suggested that the sale of cigarettes will now be allowed, as long as they are bought alongside other food items. But with the regulations still unchanged, that remains illegal, and there is no indication that the rules as they stand will not be enforced.
The regulations can, however, be changed at any time by simple publication in the Government Gazette – and that may happen soon.The source said the South African government is reconsidering the regulations to allow for cigarette sales, predominantly to prevent underground sales of cigarette.
The sale of liquor is not part of the discussion, and will at this point remain wholly prohibited, the source said.
An announcement on cigarettes could be made within the next few days.
Government regulations published last week determined that only the sale of essential food items, household cleaning products, hygiene supplies, and a short list of other items are allowed during the lockdown period.
This lead to mass panic buying of especially liquor before the country entered the national lockdown on Friday.
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