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With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing, the thought on many people’s minds is, “will there be stricter lockdown regulations during or post the festive season due to the increased levels of social activity?”
Adding to concerns, there now appears to be an image circulating on social media stating that El Presidente will be implementing an alcohol ban starting 15 December 2020, running to 3 January 2021.
Even though the post resembles an official Government statement, it is fake and has no likeness of truth to it whatsoever. At least not for now that is.
When looking at the impact on the business sector every time one of these fake posts is sent out by some bored person looking for a laugh—as per everything, there are consequences. Conrad van Rooyen of RocoMamas explains, “Fake news such as this impacts the hospitality and tourism sector negatively. I advise people to fact check and verify any post they receive before sharing it.”
The franchise owner further elaborates, fake posts which focus on alcohol creates a sense of fear and can result in people linking hospitality and tourism establishments to the pandemic. This results in the various industries seeing a decline in business, which in turn affects a plethora of elements, including staff in the long run.
When looking at the impact fake news has on alcohol sales at a store level, Pauline Purcell Maree of Glendee Cellars in Dundee, points out, “It really does not affect us. If our doors are open, people will come.”
Furthermore, with more and more fake news circulating around lockdown restrictions and alcohol, she believes people are not allowing themselves to panic, but to rather take each day as it comes.
As people wait in anticipation to see what the festive season holds, the Eastern Cape is considering a local-level ban on particular areas of alcohol sales, primarily as bars and shebeens are partially to blame for the skyrocketing infections in parts of Nelson Mandela Bay.
Moreover, areas of Cape Town and the Garden Route have also seen a spike in COVID-19 cases, all of which are contributing to the possibility of area-specific lockdowns.
While there is still a certain degree of uncertainty regarding stricter lockdown restrictions this festive season, as well as a ban on alcohol sales, President Cyril Ramaphosa chaired a meeting with the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) on, 2 December 2020, with officials. During the meeting, the possible reintroduction of lockdown restrictions in parts of South Africa was discussed. This follows a National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) meeting on Tuesday, 1 December 2020, to discuss the revival of cases being seen in hotspot areas in the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape.
Some of the restrictions which have been put forward include the limited sale of alcohol, a stricter curfew, and a restriction on the maximum number of people allowed in gatherings. This will undoubtedly, if approved, harshly impact an already fragile hospitality and tourism sector at there most critical time of the year, post the colossal damages 2020 had on the sectors.
Thus, Newcastillians are reminded, sharing fake news is a crime. But over and above the legal implications, these posts, along with ignoring current regulations, can negatively impact businesses, therefore, verify the information before you share it.
Report fake posts through the Real411 website: http://www.real411.org/ or the Whatsapp line 067 966 4015.
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