Lockdown: Cabinet expected to meet over dropping restrictions

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  • 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.

A source told News24 that Cabinet would be meeting on Thursday to ratify a decision to end Covid-19 restrictions, on the recommendation of Health Minster Joe Phaahla.

This follows the President's Coordinating Council of ministers, premiers and executive mayors having met on Wednesday morning to discuss the scrapping of Covid-19 regulations, including the mandatory wearing of face masks in public places and limits on group gatherings.

News24 previously reported that Phaahla had recommended, in a letter, the repealing of Covid-19 regulations as the country had exited the fifth wave. This would include dropping the compulsory wearing of masks in indoor spaces and on public transport.

READ | Covid-19: Phaahla recommends compulsory mask rule be scrapped

Insiders told News24 that those at the meeting were in agreement that masks and restrictions on gatherings should be scrapped.

The proposal would need to be taken to Cabinet for approval, with sources speculating South Africans would soon be addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya was unable to "confirm any timelines" around a Cabinet meeting or so-called family meeting.

"When the announcement is made you will certainly know," he added.

The letter also recommended changes to restrictions of gatherings. There was currently a 50% limit on the number of people allowed in a venue if people were fully vaccinated, or if people could produce proof of their negative Covid-19 tests.

The letter also recommended that the country drop its entry requirements for travellers. At the moment, travellers were expected to show a vaccination certificate, or a negative Covid-19 test.


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