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Comment on Draft Health Regulations Extended

May 6, 2022

Department of Health

Comment on draft health regulations designed to manage the Covid-19 pandemic and future pandemics going forward has been further extended.

In a statement, the health department announced that comment has been extended by three months with effect from 5 May 2022.

The draft regulations, published for comment in Government Gazette 46045 in March 2022, were drawn up in terms of the National Health Act.

They focus on the surveillance and the control of notifiable medical conditions; public health measures in points of entry; management of human remains and environmental health.

The department also announced that, in order to ensure that there is “no gap in terms of legal instruments to contain the spread of COVID-19 and future notifiable medical conditions”, limited regulations have been published in Gazette 46319 for implementation with effect from 5 May 2022.

The regulations focus on wearing of face masks, gatherings and persons entering the country.

Face masks must be worn in indoor public places and on public transport.

As regards gatherings, gatherings are more clearly defined as planned assembly or meeting at a particular venue involving more than one hundred persons.

For any indoor and outdoor gatherings, a maximum of 50% of the venue capacity may be occupied provided that every attendee is vaccinated against Covid-19 and produces a valid vaccination certificate or produces a valid negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours prior to the date of the gathering.

In cases where vaccinations and testing is not complied with, then indoor gatherings will be restricted to 1000 people or 50% of the capacity, whichever is smaller, and outdoor gatherings can only accommodate 2000 people or 50% of the capacity, whichever is smaller.

In terms of travelling, all international travellers arriving at South African ports of entry must be vaccinated against Covid-19 and produce a valid vaccination certificate or produce a valid negative PCR Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours before the date of departure.

As an alternative, valid negative antigen Covid-19 test results performed by a medical practitioner, registered public health authority or accredited/approved laboratory obtained not older than 48 hours before the date of departure can also be produced.

The vaccination or testing requirement does not apply to travellers who are under the age of 12 years and daily commuters from neighbouring countries.