The Botswana Alcohol Industry Association (BAIA) wishes to express its deep concern at the increasing number of non-adherence to COVID-19 health protocols by some outlets and consumers placing the industry and the general public at risk. Since the re-opening of the liquor industry, we had noted a general strict adherence to the set health protocols by both liquor outlets and the general public; however incidents experienced over the last two weeks points to deterioration in enforcement of the set protocols particularly at on-consumption outlets (bars and liquor restaurants).
BAIA would like to caution both liquor outlets and consumers who are not complying and urge them to follow guidelines related to the industry as provided for by the law. The Association has been negotiating with Government to open the industry further in order to boost economic recovery efforts; however the current non-compliance incidents may hinder these efforts.
BAIA urges liquor outlets to fully comply with the current liquor regulations in order to protect the industry and ensure containment of the spread of COVID-19.
BAIA members have further resolved to immediately withdraw any support to liquor outlets that are found to contravene these regulations i.e provision of trade coolers, merchandise and promotions support.
Consumers are encouraged to heed the call to drink responsibly at home as per the “Dinwele Dladleng” on-going campaign that promotes the responsible drinking from home.
Whistle-blowers are urged to use the reporting app “tipoffbw.com” to report incidents of non-compliance and where convenient to call the nearest law enforcement agency.
Encourage Liquor Authority Boards to monitor and apply applicable penalties in line with the Liquor Act to non-complying outlets.
BAIA urges all liquor traders and the general public to self-regulate as the current situation with COVID-19 will not change in the foreseeable future hence the industry’s ability to sustain itself is paramount which in turn will encourage other sectors dependent on it such as events & the creative arts to also re-start in due course.