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IT’S OFFICIAL: Face masks are gone; South Africans no longer need to wear masks indoors in public settings, Border checks and gatherings ban dropped

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As of Wednesday, South Africans no longer need to wear masks indoors in public settings.


Limits on gatherings, and border checks – including for vaccination status – have also been dropped.

South Africa has put an end to Covid curbs including the wearing of face masks.

Health minister Joe Phaahla published a notice in the Government Gazette on Wednesday repealing the country’s Covid–19 regulations.

These include the wearing of masks, curbs on gathering sizes and border checks for Covid-19. Phaahla earlier this week suggested the restrictions be dropped following the decline in hospitalisations and reported cases.



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An announcement regarding the regulations was only expected later this week after president Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet met on Thursday.

“I Mathume Joseph Phaahla, minister of Health hereby repeal Regulations 16A, 16B and 16C of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions… in their entirety,” the two-paragraph notice states.

“The repeal of the regulations concerned will come into operation on publication in the Gazette.”

Regulation 16A dealt with mask-wearing, 16B contained the regulations on gatherings, and 16C were the regulations for international travellers entering South Africa.

The minister said his department has been working with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases on monitoring the epidemic. As of mid-June, the critical indicators showed:

  • Reported cases declined
  • Hospitalisations declined
  • The effective reproductive rate of the virus declined to under 0.7%
  • The positivity rate declined, though the number of tests done is also low
  • Reported deaths declined

For these reasons, Phaahla said the National Department of Health had planned to recommend to the cabinet that the regulations be repealed.


Health regulations in the Government Gazette




By repealing three sections of those regulations, “in their entirety”, Phaahla with immediate effect ended those obligations.


The repealed rules formed part of what is formally known as the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions, into which they were inserted on 4 May. They are:

  • 16A: “Wearing of face masks to contain the spread of Covid-19”, which required a mask in any public-use indoor space or when on public transport
  • 16B: “Regulation of gatherings to contain the spread of Covid-19”, which limited any gathering of more than 100 people to 50% of maximum venue capacity if everyone was vaccinated, or to an absolute maximum of 1,000 people indoors or 2,000 people outdoors if vaccination status was not checked.
  • 16C: “Regulation of persons entering the country to contain the spread of Covid-19”, which demanded either vaccination certificates or recent negative PCR tests, or proof of recovery from Covid-19, from all travellers older than 12 entering South Africa.


Source: News24


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