Does SA mask rule expire at midnight?



From Thursday, there will be no more official Covid-19 rules governing the wearing of masks in indoor public places and restrictions on gatherings.

The 30-day extension of Covid-19 rules is expected to expire on Wednesday at midnight.

30 day period

During his address nation On April 4, 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced termination national state of distress regarding Covid-19.

The president said some “transitional provisions” regarding mask wearing and gatherings would be in place for 30 days. This was to allow new health regulations under the National Health Act to come into effect.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa ends national distress regime

The process of public discussion of the draft sanitary rules ended April 24, 2022, and the government has yet to release the submissions.

Announcement imminent

Health Department spokesman Foster Mohail reached out for comment on the matter. Citizen the Office was aware of the expiration of the 30-day transitional period.

He said the government would soon make a public statement on the matter on Wednesday.

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

He insisted that there would be “no gap in terms of a legal instrument to fight the pandemic.”

According to the lobbying group AfriForum, unless the government makes another of its overnight announcements, no one will be required to wear a face mask in indoor public spaces or comply with restrictions on gatherings from Thursday.

Transitional measures

The transitional measures do not require the wearing of face masks outdoors.

However, both indoor and outdoor venues may occupy up to 50% of their capacity without any maximum restrictions, provided a proof of vaccination or Covid test no older than 72 hours is required to enter the facility.

Where no proof of vaccination or Covid test is provided, the current upper limit of 1,000 people indoors and 2,000 people outdoors will remain.

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

DA demands clarity

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

District Attorney MP and Health Spokeswoman Michelle Clark complained that Health Secretary Joe Fahl and his department had 12 days to process and analyze more than 300,000 applications before Thursday’s deadline.

Clarke said the Department of Health has yet to provide the District Attorney with copies of all of the submissions made, or provide a breakdown of their method of analysis.

“We need to know the status of the draft sanitary rules. The country has suffered enough in the past two years and deserves to know what lies ahead,” she said in statement.

The DA also called for feedback on the requested audit regarding claims that some material was lost due to a technical glitch.

Collected Tapelo Lekabe as well as Kgomotso Phuko.

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