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Regulation on Wearing of Face Masks Repealed

June 24, 2022

Department of Health

The wearing of face masks to contain the spread of Covid-19 is no longer required.

The health department announced the repeal of Regulation 16A of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions in Government Gazette 46590.

The Regulations were published at the beginning of May 2022.

Regulation 16A had called on people to wear face masks in indoor public places and on public transport.

The department has also announced the repeal of Regulation 16B on gatherings and 16C on the regulation of persons entering South Africa.

As regards gatherings, gatherings were 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 could be occupied provided that every attendee was vaccinated against Covid-19 and produced a valid vaccination certificate or 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 was not complied with, then indoor gatherings could be restricted to 1000 people or 50% of the capacity, whichever is smaller, and outdoor gatherings could 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 had to 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 could also be produced.

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

The repeal of the Regulations came into effect on the date of publication.