Long queues have formed outside shops selling alcohol in Botswana after restrictions on its sale, imposed two months ago as part of measures to fight Covid-19, were lifted. Social media posts showed people, who had braved the morning chill, cheering as buyers emerged with their bottles.
The alcohol ban was to allow police and hospitals to better focus on tackling the coronavirus, the authorities said.
Alcohol-fuelled violence is a huge problem in Botswana.
Doctors and police say the ban has had a dramatic impact, contributing to a sharp drop in casualty admissions.
But the country’s liquor stores had complained that they were being driven out of business. The government has also lost a fortune in tax revenue.
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“As part of opening up our economy government has decided though in a controlled manner, for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages,”said President Masisi on Botswana Television (BTV).
Masisi however pleaded with the nation to drink responsible, adding that his administration will not hesitate to respond on seeing any signs and evidence of none compliance and threat of transmission.