The Health Department has extended the deadline for public comment on the proposed Covid-19 regulations by three months.
Health Secretary Joe Phaahla announced the extension late Wednesday evening, just ahead of the transition period Measures expired.
The regulationsrefer to the surveillance and control of reportable diseases; public measures at entry points; and Handling of Human Remains and Environmental Health.
Theyare designed to manage Covid-19 and other reportable conditions outside of the Civil Protection Act.
Phaahla said wearing face masks indoors remains mandatory. Everyone using public transport must also wear masks on board. Rules for international travel and indoor gatherings also remain in effect.
President Cyril Ramaphosa ended the national state of emergency in early April. However, he said some restrictions would remain in effect until new rules were released to manage transmission of the coronavirus in high-risk locations.
Phaahla said the extension by July 5, is in line with legal requirements and will allow the department sufficient time to review and consider all comments and representations on the regulations.
“Despite the current process “to solicit public comment on health regulations,” he warned, “it remains imperative to provide options to address the Covid-19 pandemic and other reportable diseases without invoking a state of national catastrophe.” and the country is not over the hill yet.
“The only way to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this pandemic and the current rising number of positive cases is through vaccination and adhar ence to preventive measures at any time. Fully vaccinated individuals are urged to consider booster shots to boost their immunity.”
Regulations in Brief
An individual must wear a face mask when entering and staying in any indoor public area . This does not apply to children at school.
No one is allowed to use public transport unless wearing a face mask.
Maximum 50% for indoor and outdoor gatherings. The event capacity may be occupied provided that each participant is vaccinated against Covid-19 and presents a valid vaccination card. Alternatively, attendees must provide a valid negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours prior to the date of the gathering.
If compliance with this requirement is not possible for indoor gatherings, the Attendance is limited to 1,000 people or 50% of capacity, whichever is smaller, while attendance at outdoor gatherings is limited to 2,000 people or 50% of capacity, whichever is smaller.
< p>All international travelers arriving at South African ports of entry must be vaccinated against Covid-19 and present a valid vaccination certificate or present a valid negative PCR Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours prior to the departure date. Alternatively, travelers have another option to present a valid negative antigen Covid-19 test result taken by a doctor, registered health authority or accredited/licensed laboratory and not older than 48 hours before the departure date.
If an international traveler does not have a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test result older than 72 hours, or a negative antigen test result obtained at least 48 hours before departure, he/she must undergo an antigen test at the port of the entry. If the traveler has symptoms of Covid-19, they must self-isolate for a period of 10 days after entering SA.
The vaccination or testing requirement does not apply to travelers under the age of 12 and daily commuters from neighboring countries.
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