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Limpopo health officials considering denying sale of booze to unvaccinated people

Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba has spoken on a proposal to prevent unvaccinated citizens from buying alcohol. Stock photo.
Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba has spoken on a proposal to prevent unvaccinated citizens from buying alcohol. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Vladislavs Gorniks

As the government grapples with Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba has revealed the province is lobbying the alcohol industry to look at several proposals, including preventing unvaccinated people from buying liquor.

Ramathuba told Jacaranda FM this week her department would support any liquor outlets that wanted to refuse service to unvaccinated customers.

She said if the health department doesn't implement strict regulations on liquor , it will be forced to be deal with alcohol-induced trauma cases. 

“Our alcohol industry can get on board and indicate that they have a right to refuse to sell alcohol to someone refusing to get vaccinated because we need to balance the rights,” said Ramathuba.

“We know vaccination is not compulsory, but we as public health are saying that we are dealing with a notifiable disease which is responsible for the pandemic, closing our economy and causing havoc.” 

She said people needed a bit of a “push” to understand why they should be vaccinated, adding that the proposed regulation will not only be limited to alcohol but to entering stadiums too.

Last week, the popular year-end student festival Rage announced that partygoers would have to be vaccinated to attend the event, set to take place from December 3 to 6 and 8 to 11. 

Ronen Klugman, founder and owner of the student festival, said in addition to needing proof of vaccination, attendees will be required to present a negative PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours before the weekend.

“Upon arrival, organisers will test each Rager with a rapid antigen test before they receive a wristband. Due to Plett Rage being a multi-day event, we will also enforce another rapid antigen test before Ragers return home,” said Klugman.

“We will adhere to the Covid-19 restrictions implemented by the Western Cape government, subject to the approval of an event to take place and within the restrictions on gatherings legislation.”

TimesLIVE recently ran a poll asking readers what they thought about the “no vax, no entry” rule at events. 

The poll garnered more than 2,000 votes, with 40.33% of voters agreeing with the stance, while 39.97% said they shouldn’t be forced to take the jab and 20% saying those who don’t get the Covid-19 vaccine pose a huge risk.

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