Wines of South Africa (WOSA), a not-for-profit industry organisation which promotes the exports of all wine from the country has announced that the South African Government has agreed to lift restrictions on wine exports amid Covid-19.

The government banned the wine exports during lockdown implemented in South Africa due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision was announced by the government after the country moved from level 5 to level 4 restrictions regarding the lockdown.

Level 4 regulations were released by the Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma during a media briefing.

Under the regulations, the government has permitted the wine industry to do essential procurement, manufacturing of wine under strict health and safety protocols.

Furthermore, the wine to the neighbouring countries have to be transported via road and for other overseas markets, it will be supplied through ships from the port or through the airport for air freight.

Wines of South Africa CEO Siobhan Thompson said: “We are grateful to President Ramaphosa and the relevant government departments for the confirmation and providing certainty, and as such we endeavour to be responsible in our actions and messaging to ensure the safety of our people.

“As an industry, we remain fully committed to implementing a safety protocol, which will effectively address transmission risks across our value chain. The safety of our workforce, customers and consumers are of utmost concern to our industry.”

With level 4 restrictions in place, manufacturing, transport and exports of wine products will be resumed and the industry will be able to fulfil its responsibilities concerning wine exports.

The government’s decision was welcomed by the country’s wine industry.

WOSA added that South African wine producers will follow all the protocols including wearing of face masks, social and physical distancing during transport, regular cleaning of working areas and due care with vulnerable employees when production and exports resume.