Health Minister Joe Phaahla lifted several COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday, including the requirement to wear face masks, the ban on gatherings, and the restriction on people entering the country.
This is a welcome relief for many South Africans who have been struggling to comply with the strict rules.
This was put in place to protect people from contracting the virus. People are now free to choose whether or not to wear a mask.
With the gazetting of the new regulations, the wearing of face masks in public indoor spaces or when taking public transport is no longer required.
There won’t be an absolute limit on the number of people allowed to gather at events.
However, the regulations stipulated that a maximum of 50% of the venue capacity may be occupied, provided that every attendee must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and produce a valid vaccination certificate.
They could also present a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 test result that was received no later than 72 hours prior to the event.
The attendance at the indoor gathering had to be limited to 1000 people or 50% of the capacity, whichever was less, in cases where sub-regulation (3) was not obeyed.
A maximum of 50% of the venue’s capacity may be used for any outdoor gathering.
All attendees must have a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result 72 hours before the gathering.
The new regulations require that all people entering the country be vaccinated against COVID-19 and produce a valid vaccination certificate.
These people needed to produce a valid certificate of a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours before their departure.