No more masks! – All Covid rules officially canceled

South Africa has officially lifted all Covid-19 containment rules in the country, including indoor and outdoor masks, restrictions on gatherings and border controls.

It happens after Minister of Health Joe Fahla overturned the rules by publishing a report in the Government Gazette.

“I, Matume Joseph Fakhla, Minister of Health, hereby revoke Regulations 16A, 16B and 16C of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions made pursuant to sections 90(1)(1), (k) and (w) of the National Health Act of 2003 (Act 61 of 2003), promulgated in full on May 4, 2022, in accordance with the 2060 Government Notice.”

“The cancellation of the relevant Rules will take effect after publication in the Gazeta,” Faahla wrote in the notice.

In a letter to the MEC dated two days ago, Faahla said that “current epidemiological analysis indicates a lower level of infection and that the country has emerged from the recent surge (5th wave) that the current limited rules were made public to mitigate.”

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Phaala will join Minister in Presidency Mondli Gungubele at a press briefing on Thursday.

The briefing is expected to focus on cabinet discussions after the health ministry said Covid-19 restrictions should be lifted.

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

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

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

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

The majority of new cases are in Gauteng (40%), followed by the Western Cape (17%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 11%; Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga accounted for 7% respectively; Limpopo and Northwest accounted for 6% each, respectively; The Free State accounted for 5%; and the Northern Cape accounts for 1% of today’s new cases.

The country also recorded 57 deaths, of which 6 occurred in the last 24-48 hours, with a total of 101,697 Covid-19 deaths to date.

Also, over the past 24 hours, the number of hospitalizations increased by 37.

ALSO READ: Covid-19 update: South Africa reports 1,028 new cases and 57 deaths