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South Africa Eases Bans on Alcohol Sales, Church Services

Αssociated Press

Bottled sparkling wine is ready for packaging at the Steenberg vineyard in Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- The South African government says it will allow people to buy alcohol and attend church services starting Monday as part of its phased relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown.

Both activities will be subject to restrictions in a country with the highest number of cases in Africa.

Alcohol sales, banned since March 27, will be allowed four days a week. No alcohol can be purchased on Fridays and over the weekend and bars remain closed. Alcohol may be consumed only at home.

Churches can reopen but must limit congregation size to 50 people. Churchgoers and officials must wear masks and maintain social distancing. For those entering church, hand sanitizing and screening will be compulsory.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, also said cigarette sales remain banned but a national night curfew will be lifted, and outdoor exercise will be allowed at any time.