The South African government has strictly warned restaurants against serving alcohol in teapots in an attempt to fool authorities.
The government has introduced a fresh ban on the sale of liquor, citing that reckless behaviour after consuming alcohol increased the risk of transmitting the new mutant strain of Covid-19.
Scientists had detected the new mutant virus strain in the country about two weeks ago.
Alcohol-related accidents and violence are also putting additional pressure on the medical staff, who are already struggling to treat the increasing number of Covid-19 patients arriving in hospitals.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced the ban on December 28 after there were reports of the mutant strain spreading rapidly among the people.
The police and the army will enforce the liquor ban that will remain effective until mid-January.
South African Police Minister Bheki Cele said that restaurants flouting the ban would lose their trade licences and owners prosecuted.
“Don’t put alcohol in your teapots in restaurants. Don’t put alcohol in bottles written 0% alcohol. We know your tricks, don’t do that,” a report quoted Cele as saying.
The South African government has prohibited all gatherings except funerals and ordered all shops, bars and other venues to shut by 8 pm.
It has also imposed a night curfew between 9 pm to 6 am to slow down the transmission of the virus.
South Africa has become the first country in Africa to pass a million Covid-19 cases, with almost 27,000 deaths since the outbreak began in March.
Last week, it recorded a daily average of 11,700 new infections, which was a 39 per cent rise than the previous week.