Health · June 23, 2022

No more masks! – All Covid regulations officially abolished

South Africa has officially ended all Covid-19 containment regulations in the country, including wearing masks indoors and in public facilities, restrictions on gatherings and border controls.

That comes after Minister of Health Joe Phaahla repealed the regulations with a notice in the state gazette.

“I, Mathume Joseph Phaahla, Secretary of Health, hereby repeal Provisions 16A, 16B and 16C of the Recordable Disease Surveillance and Control Regulations made under sections 90(1)(1), (k) and (w) of the National Health Act, 2003 (Act 61 of 2003), and published 4 May 2022 under Government Notice 2060, in their entirety.”

“The repeal of the relevant regulations will come into force upon publication in the Official Journal,” Phaahla wrote in the statement.

In a letter to MECs dated two days ago, Phaahla said: “The current epidemiological analysis points to lower infection rates and that the country is recovering from the recent surge (May 5).

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Phaahla will meet with Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele for a press conference on Thursday.

The briefing is expected to focus on Cabinet deliberations after the Department of Health said Covid-19 restrictions should be lifted.

In April, the government eased Covid-19 regulations by allowing people not to wear masks outdoors unless they have flu symptoms.

Indoor and outdoor venues were allowed up to 50% of their capacity provided proof of vaccination was presented at the entrance.

Meanwhile, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported on Wednesday that 1,028 new Covid-19 cases had been identified in South Africa in the past 24 hours.

This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,989,007, a positivity rate of 5.3%.

The majority of new cases come from Gauteng (40%), followed by the Western Cape (17%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 11%; Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga each accounted for 7%; Limpopo and North West each accounted for 6%; The Free State accounted for 5%; and North Cape accounted for 1% of today’s new cases.

The country has also reported 57 deaths, 6 of which have occurred in the past 24-48 hours, with the cumulative number of Covid-19 deaths so far standing at 101,697.

There has also been an increase of 37 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

ALSO READ: Covid-19 update: 1,028 new cases and 57 deaths reported in SA