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Bye-bye masks: Health minister repeals three major Covid-19 regulations

National Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla has repealed three regulations, one of them being that South Africans do not have to wear masks.Picture: Se-Anne Rall

National Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla has repealed three regulations, one of them being that South Africans do not have to wear masks.Picture: Se-Anne Rall

Published Jun 22, 2022

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Durban - Masks are now a thing of the past. South Africans breathed a collective sigh of relief following an announcement that masks are no longer mandatory.

National Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, this evening repealed three regulations including the wearing of masks when in public as well as a regulation on the numbers permitted at a gathering and rules around vaccinations for people entering South Africa.

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Earlier this week, IOL reported that Phaahla made recommendations to the Cabinet.

The minister noted a decline in the number of reported Covid-19 cases and rate of hospitalisations, the effective productive rate of the virus, the positivity rate in the number of tests done and a decline in the number of daily deaths.

“We have been monitoring the epidemic working with the NICD and the current epidemiological analysis, points towards lower infection rates and that the country has exited the recent spike or 5th wave which the current limited regulations were promulgated to mitigate,” Phaahla said.

Phaala is expected to join Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, at a media briefing on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting. The briefing is scheduled to take place at 11am.

According to the latest Covid statistics, SA has recorded 1 028 new infections and 57 new deaths in the last 24 hours. The country has 13 520 active Covid cases and a recovery rate of 97.1%.

Meanwhile, the decision to drop masks has been met with mixed sentiments.

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