South Africans may soon no longer be required to wear a mask in public, including in supermarkets and shopping malls.
Health minister Joe Phaahla, writing in a memo to “colleagues” on 20 June, proposed ending the requirement to mask up in public and doing away with the limitations on the size of public events.
He said the department of health met with the National Coronavirus Command Council, or NCCC, on Monday and proposed that:
- The regulation governing mask-wearing “no longer needs to be in place at the present moment”;
- The regulation limiting the size of gatherings is also no longer needed for now; and
- The regulation dealing with entry limitations on South Africa’s borders is not needed for now.
The recommendations will be discussed with the cabinet in the next 48 to 72 hours, the minister said. Cabinet is expected to meet on Wednesday.
Phaahla said the department’s recommendations to do away with the last remaining Covid-19-related restrictions come as the number of infections continues to decline.
“The current epidemiological analysis points towards lower infection rates and that the country has exited the recent spike (“fifth wave”) which the current regulations were promulgated to mitigate,” he wrote in the memo. — (c) 2022 NewsCentral Media