SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa has lifted the alcohol ban which went into effect on 28 December as a way to assist hospitals and staff in coping with an influx of Covid-19 cases.
The announcement came as Mr Ramaphosa hailed the arrival of the first shipment of vaccines – one million AstraZeneca doses.
The country will remain in what is termed a level 3 lockdown, but a number of restrictions that had been in place will end.
Retail outlets can now sell alcohol between 10:00 and 18:00 from Monday to Thursday, and licensed outlets can serve drinks on-site from 10:00 to 22:00, when they must close.
Beaches will reopen and limited religious gatherings will be allowed.
South Africa has had the most Covid infections and deaths on the continent, with 1.46 million total cases and 44 399 deaths.