The Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla, has ended the mandatory use of masks indoors as well as removed restrictions on gatherings.
Phaahla signed a repeal on Wednesday 22 June 2022, with one other change – checks at South Africa’s borders.
Regulation 16A refers to the “wearing of face masks to contain the spread of COVID-19”. Up until Wednesday, people were required to use a face mask in any public indoor space or when using public transport. Regulation 16B refers to the “regulation of gatherings to contain the spread of COVID-19”.
Limitations were put on gatherings of no more than 100 people and up to 50% of a venue’s maximum capacity if everyone was vaccinated. If vaccination statuses were unknown, a maximum of 1,000 people indoors and 2,000 outdoors were permitted. “Regulation of persons entering the country to contain the spread of COVID-19” refers to 16C, which required negative PCR tests, vaccination certificates, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 from travellers older than 12 years old.
On Thursday morning, Phaahla is due to join Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele for a briefing. On Tuesday, a leaked memo that couldn’t be verified led to an expectation that the government would be reconsidering its stance on wearing masks.