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Ramaphosa Announces End of Covid-19 State of Disaster

April 5, 2022

The Presidency

The Covid-19 National State of Disaster has ended.

President Ramaphosa announced the termination of the state of disaster during an address to the nation last night on South Africa’s response to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.

The president reiterated that South Africa has now entered a new phase in combating the pandemic.

Although the virus continues to circulate, it is not causing the same levels of severe illness that requires hospitalisation or the same number of deaths.

“While the pandemic is not over, and while the virus remains among us, these conditions no longer require that we remain in a National State of Disaster”, he said.

The president announced that, going forward, the pandemic will be managed in terms of the National Health Act.

Draft health regulations were recently published for comment.

“Once the period for public comment closes on the 16th of April 2022 and the comments have been considered, the new regulations will be finalised and promulgated”, he said.

The president confirmed that certain transitional provisions will remain in place for 30 days after the termination of the national state of disaster to “ensure essential public health precautions and other necessary services are not interrupted while the new regulations in terms of the National Health Act come into effect”.

He confirmed that all Regulations and Directions made in terms of the Disaster Management Act following the declaration of the national state of disaster in response to Covid-19 were repealed with effect from midnight last night.

Transitional measures to remain in place for 30 days include:

• Wearing of masks in indoor public places and no masks required outdoors;
• Indoor and outdoor venues to utilise 50% of capacity with proof of vaccination or a Covid-19 test not older than 72 hours while smaller venues with an upper limit of 1,000 people indoors and 2,000 people outdoors will not require proof of vaccination or a Covid-19 test;
• Travellers entering South Africa to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours – antigen test on arrival if no vaccine certificate or proof of a negative Covid-19 test provided;
• Directions on R350 Social Relief of Distress Grant to remain in place to allow the social development department to finalise regulations that will facilitate continued payment of the grant; and
• Directions on extension of the validity of a learner’s licence, driving licence card, licence disc, professional driving permit and registration of a motor vehicle to remain in place.

The president also confirmed that the Covid-19 Vaccine Injury No-Fault Compensation Scheme will continue.

“The Scheme will only be terminated once it has achieved its purpose”, he said.