Long overdue or too soon? Share your views on plans to ditch SA's indoor mask mandate

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Grade 12 learners of Rosendaal Senior Secondary in Delft wear face masks in class.
Grade 12 learners of Rosendaal Senior Secondary in Delft wear face masks in class.
Roger Sedres/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Face masks could soon be a thing of the past in South Africa following recommendations made by Health Minister Joe Phaahla this week.

News24 earlier reported that Phaahla had called for various Covid-19 regulations to be scrapped, including rules on mask wearing in public indoor spaces and limitations on the size of public gatherings.

The proposals are contained in a letter to health MECs signed by the minister and dated 20 June 2022.

In the document, which has been circulating on social media, Phaahla acknowledged that South Africa has seen lower Covid-19 infection rates and had exited the fifth wave.

The recommendations are expected to be discussed by Cabinet members and the President's Coordinating Council (PCC)  this week. 

READ | No more masks: Health Minister Joe Phaahla recommends scrapping Covid-19 regulations as SA exits 5th wave

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, a member of the PCC who has long called for the removal of remaining Covid-19 restrictions, said it was disappointing that it had taken so long for the national government to drop the regulations. 

South Africa ended its national state of disaster earlier this year, but regulations around masks, gatherings, and travel into the country were kept in place under amended health rules introduced in May.

The removal of mask rules remain a contentious issue as countries around the world ease its Covid-19 restrictions.

Do you believe South Africa is ready to end its mandate on indoor mask-wearing? Or do you think the move is premature, given South Africa's low vaccination rate?

News24 wants to hear your thoughts. Tell us what you think in the comments section. 

Subscribe to News24 to be part of the conversation in the comments section of this article.

Lockdown: Cabinet expected to meet over dropping restrictions | News24

A high-level government meeting has supported the dropping of face masks. The proposal will need to be approved by Cabinet before it can come into effect. The Presidency is yet to confirm timelines on any meetings over the proposal. Cabinet is expected to meet over a proposal to scrap all remaining Covid-19 restrictions.

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