Will the SA mask rule expire at midnight?

Starting Thursday, there will no longer be any official Covid-19 regulations governing the use of masks in an indoor public space and restrictions on gatherings.

This is because the 30-day extension of the Covid-19 regulations is expected to expire Wednesday at midnight.

period of 30 days

during his Street address to the nation on April 4, 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the termination of the national state of disaster regarding Covid-19.

The president said some “transitional provisions” relating to the use of masks and gatherings will remain in effect for a period of 30 days. This is to allow the entry into force of new health regulations in terms of national health law.

READ ALSO: Ramaphosa ends the nation’s state of disaster

The public comment process on the draft health legislation concluded on April 24, 2022 and the government has not yet released the comments to the public.

Upcoming announcement

Approached for comment on the matter, health department spokesman Foster Mohale said The citizen the department was aware of the expiry of the 30 day period of the transitional measures.

He said the government will soon make a public announcement on the matter on Wednesday.

“We will make a public announcement between now and midnight on how we will continue to manage the pandemic and other notifiable medical conditions,” Mohale said in a WhatsApp message.

He insisted that there would be “no gaps in terms of the legal instrument to manage the pandemic”.

According to lobby group AfriForum, unless the government makes another of its late-night announcements, no one would be required to wear a mask in an indoor public space or adhere to gathering restrictions since Thursday.

Transitional measures

Transitional measures do not require the use of masks when outdoors.

However, both indoor and outdoor venues can occupy up to 50% of their capacity with no maximum limit, as long as a vaccination test or Covid test no older than 72 hours is required for entry.

Where there is no vaccination test or Covid test, the current maximum limit of 1,000 people indoors and 2,000 outdoors would remain.

Existing provisions regarding international travel, such as proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, also remained in place.

DA asks for clarity

At the same time, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for clear steps on what the road ahead would entail given the imminent expiry of transitional health regulations.

District Attorney’s Deputy and Health Spokesman Michele Clarke complained that Health Minister Joe Phaahla and his department had 12 days to process and analyze the more than 300,000 requests before Thursday’s deadline.

Clarke said the health department had yet to provide the district attorney with a copy of all filings or provided a breakdown of their method of analysis.

“We need to know the status of the draft health regulations. The country has suffered enough over the past two years and deserves to know what lies ahead, “he said in a statements.

The district attorney also asked for feedback on the requested audit regarding claims that some requests were lost due to a technical problem.

Compiled by Thalelo Lekabe Other Kgomotso Phooko.

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