Health Minister Joe Phaahla has proposed scrapping the corona virus regulations that require people to wear masks indoors, limit the size of gatherings and stipulate testing and vaccination requirements for people travelling to South Africa.
According to a letter Phaahla sent to MECs, the country has exited the 5th wave and can, therefore, consider repealing Covid-19 regulations. Currently, it is compulsory for people to wear masks in indoor public gatherings, including shopping malls and public transport. There is also a restriction of 50% capacity of people in social gatherings if they are vaccinated, or if they can show their negative Covid-19 tests.
The letter also recommends that the country drop the entry requirements for travellers. At the moment, travellers are expected to show vaccination certificates, or a negative Covid-19 test. While South Africa has ended its national state of disaster, a number of restrictions are still in place on social gatherings and wearing of masks.
Mask rules are being eased globally, in many parts of Europe and in the US. Bloomberg reported that the European Union is relaxing its guidance for mask-wearing on flights as many airlines have already abandoned those rules with Covid-19 concerns easing.
The latest epidemiological analysis indicated that as from mid-June there has been a decline in the indicators which are monitored by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. These include the number of cases, hospital admissions and deaths, as well as a decline in the reproductive rate to below 0.7% and a drop in the number of people who are testing positive for Covd-19.