Explained | 'Midnight on Monday' leaves thirsty SA puzzled
South Africans were left confused following President Cyril Ramaphosa's address over the weekend.
The president announced that the bans on alcohol and cigarette sales would be lifted at midnight on Monday.
“Guided by the advice of our health experts and after consultation with provincial and local government, cabinet has decided to place the entire country on alert level 2 with effect from midnight on August 17,” said Ramaphosa.
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“Restrictions on the sale of tobacco will be lifted. The suspension of the sale of alcohol will be lifted subject to certain restrictions. Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only until 10pm. Liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 9am to 5pm only.”
The confusion around “midnight on Monday” once again saw “midnight” topping Twitter's trending list.
This is not the first time the term has puzzled SA. It happened at the end March when Ramaphosa announced that the country would be on national lockdown "from midnight".
On the weekend many were wondering if “midnight” meant Sunday at 00:01 or Monday at 00:01.
She asked me do you celebrate New Years at midnight On the 31st or Midnight of the 1st, I told her midnight on the 1st and she said I'm stupid 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭— I am the milkman. My milk is delicious (@PeriPeriSauce69) August 15, 2020
Vele when is Monday midnight? 🤔— #JazzOnTheBeat (@Motanki) August 16, 2020
But I think he said the 17th so we are drinking tomorrow....
So, what's the right answer? Tuesday. Level 2 regulations will be in place from August 18.
The presidency revealed the country will move to alert level 2 on Tuesday.
“As SA moves to lockdown level 2 on August 18, prohibitions on the sale of alcohol and tobacco products will be lifted. Gyms and fitness centres will be permitted to reopen. Appropriate restrictions and safety precautions will apply to protect public health,” said the presidency.
As South Africa moves to lockdown Level 2 on August 18, prohibitions on the sale of alcohol & tobacco products will be lifted. Gyms & fitness centres will be permitted to reopen. Appropriate restrictions & safety precautions will apply to protect public health. #COVID19SA pic.twitter.com/lWPDZeQ4cX— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) August 15, 2020
Under Level 2 of the nationwide lockdown, licensed restaurants will be allowed to serve alcohol. All establishments must observe the nightly curfew & maintain strict health & safety protocols to protect diners & staff. #COVID19SA pic.twitter.com/eEuenoasyn— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) August 15, 2020
While the move to Level 2 allows for the easing of certain lockdown regulations, a number of restrictions must remain in place to protect public health & prevent a resurgence of infections. This includes a nightly curfew between 10pm and 4am. #COVID19SA pic.twitter.com/eqNO7EzWyY— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) August 15, 2020
The extension of the National State of Disaster to September 15 will allow government to continue to respond effectively to the threat of the virus to public health, our healthcare system and the economy. #COVID19SA pic.twitter.com/o8KH0gt8JF— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) August 15, 2020