Covid-19: Masks must still be worn at schools, govt clarifies

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The Department of Health has clarified that pupils should continue wearing face masks in school.  

On Thursday, the department stated it was a "regrettable human error" that their Wednesday statement said pupils should not wear masks in school. 

READ | Covid-19: Masks stay on until govt says otherwise

"This is not part of the gazetted health regulations and is, therefore, retracted to avoid any misunderstanding of the regulations.

"Therefore, children, like other people, are expected to continue complying with the provisions of Regulation 16A on face masks in the classrooms and general indoor gatherings, unlike outdoors in playgrounds and sports fields."

The health department reiterated its view that masks are a good non-pharmaceutical preventative measure against Covid-19.

But the DA was not happy with the new, limited regulations, which it said were released at the "99th hour", without consultation, on Wednesday night.

The old regulations were about to expire. 

The DA said it was a sneaky way of extending the state of disaster, which was ended by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 19 April. 

"Again, the ANC is governing through regulations, without consulting South Africans or Parliament and, in this case, likely promulgating regulations beyond the scope of the [Health] Act. We will not hesitate to go to court to confront government in abusing its powers," the party said in a statement issued by MP Michele Clarke.  

The party has already stated its opposition to the proposed regulations on the grounds that they could force medical examinations or tests, and "treatment", such as the Covid-19 vaccine. 

"While the DA strongly supports vaccinations, we do not believe it should be mandatory," the party said.

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