Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Wearing of masks and limit on gatherings may soon be a thing of the past.

Mandatory mask-wearing, travel requirements for entry into South Africa, and limited public gatherings could soon fall away if the minister of health’s recommendations are adopted.

An apparent leaked Health Department memo suggests that we could soon see some rules being dropped, including the wearing of masks at indoor public gatherings and the cap on public gatherings.

The letter to the country’s MECs of health, Minister Joe Phaahla pointed to a decline in the number of reported cases, hospitalisations, and deaths – coupled with exiting the fifth wave, which proved to be the weakest since the pandemic started – as reasons to repeal Covid-19 regulations.

In the letter signed by the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, has indicated his intention to ask for the country’s regulations that enforce the wearing of masks to be dropped along with restrictions on gatherings and travel requirements for South Africa. 

Health Minister Joe Phaahla’s spokesperson, Doctor Tshwale, could not confirm the authenticity of the memo, but added that government had been in consultation over the current state of the pandemic and the accompanying restrictions.

Tourism boost

The Covid-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions have been especially brutal for tourism and hospitality businesses.

The 50% limit on social gatherings has done little to help South Africa’s events industry, which is closely tied to tourism and hospitality. The latest recommendation to repeal these limitations, if adopted, would greatly assist the sector’s recovery,

It is understood that Phaahla intends to call a press briefing on the matter on Thursday but that the regulations remain in place for now.



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