South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said he is reinstating a ban on alcohol sales and ordered the closure of all bars as a necessary step to control a resurgence of the coronavirus, including a new variant of the virus.
During a televised address Monday night, Ramaphosa also announced residents will remain under a nighttime curfew, meaning residents must be inside their home from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. Medical and security workers are excluded from the curfew.
Following an emergency meeting with his Cabinet and the National Coronavirus Command Council, Ramaphosa said all indoor and outdoor gatherings will be prohibited for 14 days from midnight Monday, except for funerals and restaurants, museums, gyms, casinos.
Ramaphosa also said anyone caught not wearing a mask in a public place would face a fine and possible jail sentence.
So far, South Africa has recorded more than 1 million coronavirus cases and more than 27,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.