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Restaurateurs Bemoan South Africa’s Lockdown

Thousands of South African restaurant and bar owners placed tables and chairs on the streets outside their premises on Wednesday in a nationwide protest against lockdown restrictions that prevent them from selling alcohol or trading after 9 p.m. The nation’s hospitality sector is one of the hardest-hit by government restrictions imposed at the end of March to curb the spread of the coronavirus. At the end of June, restaurants were allowed to offer sit-down services again, but at limited capacity and without serving alcohol. The Restaurant Association of South Africa, said about 400,000 jobs have been lost in the sector since the end of March, with more businesses closing their doors permanently every day. A recent survey by Esus-Group found about 67% of restaurants were receiving less than 20% of their usual monthly turnover compared to July last year, while 90% of fine-dining restaurants had stayed shut since the lockdown began.