Covid-19 regulations: South Africans now have until 24 April to comment on proposed laws

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Health Minister Joe Phaahla has urged South Africans to get vaccinated.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla has urged South Africans to get vaccinated.
PHOTO: Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Dir Burger
  • People can now air their views on the proposed new regulations on managing Covid-19 and other communicable diseases.
  • Health Minister Joe Phaahla reiterated that regulations are not meant to "control" South Africans.
  • The period for public comment now closes on 24 April.

South Africans now have more time to air their views on the proposed new regulations on managing Covid-19, and other communicable diseases.

In addition, a WhatsApp number will be made available for people to comment on the regulations.

On Thursday, Health Minister Joe Phaahla told Parliament the proposed regulations were to ensure that South Africa did not lose the gains made in tackling Covid-19.

He said:

Government has found it necessary to exit the use of the Disaster Management Act. The Department of Health was logically identified to lead this process.

"We went back to the National Health Act and its regulations. We looked at regulations that were promulgated in 2017 for the control of notifiable medical conditions. We used that as a base [from] which we can provide alternative public health measures which would help us with the remaining threat of Covid-19."

READ | Western Cape government rejects proposed long-term Covid-19 rules

Phaahla reiterated that the government did not want to use the regulations to "control" South Africans.

Under the proposed draft regulations, wearing a face mask will remain compulsory when indoors or when using public transport. Employers will be required to provide employees with face masks.

The number of people in a building will be limited to allow for one-metre social distancing at all times.

Hand sanitisers will have to be provided to all employees and consumers entering the premises.

Travellers wanting to leave or enter South Africa will have to present a valid vaccine certificate or a PCR test, not older than 72 hours.

Those who test positive for Covid-19 when entering or leaving the country may be placed in "mandatory isolation" or quarantine.

Domestic travellers will be screened and their temperature checked.

Number of mourners still limited at funerals

If they have high temperatures, they may be forced to undergo a medical examination and may be unable to travel.

Furthermore, the draft regulations continue to limit attendance at funerals.

This is done to address a certain outbreak of a disease, but the regulations also mention that during the Covid-19 pandemic, funerals were limited to 100 people.

Night vigils and after-funeral gatherings may also be prohibited during an outbreak of a disease.

During the Covid-19 pandemic it was prohibited.

Everyone attending a gathering will be asked to wear a face mask, and the one-metre social distancing rule will still apply.

READ | Covid-19: Govt on alert for new variants as fifth wave approaches

During the Covid-19 pandemic, funerals will be limited to 50% of the venue's capacity.

The total attendance for gatherings will be 1 000 people indoors and 2 000 people outdoors.

If an individual refuses to undergo a medical examination, be admitted to a healthcare facility, undergo treatment, or quarantine, they may be subject to a warrant by a court.

The period for public comment now closes on 24 April, Phaahla said.

If you come across Covid-19 vaccination information that you do not trust, read Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here. If you can't find the facts you're looking for, email us at the address mentioned in the article and we will verify the information with medical professionals.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Are you going to keep wearing a mask following the announcement that it is no longer required under law?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
No ways, I'm done
42% - 3946 votes
Yes, I still want to be cautious
21% - 2013 votes
Only certain circumstances
37% - 3539 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.