The sale of cigarettes is strictly prohibited during the lockdown. File picture: IANS
The sale of cigarettes is strictly prohibited during the lockdown. File picture: IANS

SA coronavirus lockdown: 'No, you can't buy cigarettes'

By Jolene Marriah-Maharaj Time of article published Mar 30, 2020

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Durban - T he ban on the sale of cigarettes  has not been lifted, as it is not  not an essential item, police have confirmed. 

On Sunday evening various online publications quoted  n ational police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo as saying people were allowed to buy cigarettes as long as they were bought in conjunction with other goods. 

However, Naidoo reiterated on Monday cigarettes  were not listed as an essential items and people were only permitted to leave their homes to purchase groceries, seek medical help, buy medication and collect their social grants. 

Four days ago Minister of Trade and Industry  Ebrahim Patel  said the sale of cigarettes  during the 21-day lockdown would be prohibited. 

Patel  said the regulations had been developed based on a health assessment, as had also been indicated by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosanzana Dlamini-Zuma.  

"We have a 21-day lockdown, it's not a year, it's not two years. It's a 21-day lockdown to try to see if we can contain this," Patel said.

"On the items that people can buy, obviously we wanted to keep the list as short and simple as possible so that we can do a quick turnaround at shops so that people spend the minimum amount of time there, and travel as infrequently to the shops as possible. Cigarettes is not a basic good."

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the government's 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999


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