Face masks remain mandatory indoors

GOVERNMENT has issued Statutory Instrument (SI) 169 of 2022 making the wearing of face masks mandatory indoors and in public transport.

The SI published on Friday is the first legal amendment to the lockdown rules since April.

“Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) (No. 2) Order, 2020), published in SI 200 of 2020… published in SI 67 of 2022, is amended by the insertion of the following paragraph after paragraph (f)—,” the SIreads in part.

“(g) the wearing of face masks is mandatory -(i) indoors at workplaces and places to which the public have access, or in public conveyances (taxis and commuter and other buses, goods, public service vehicles and trains and aeroplanes carrying passengers);

“(ii) outdoors in public places, except for those individuals who are fully vaccinated (that is to say those who have been vaccinated at least twice against COVID-19).”

In August, government scrapped the mandatory wearing of face masks following a decline in cases, hospitalizations and reported deaths.

An estimated 4.75 million people, about 32% of the population, have been fully vaccinated.

The country has recorded 258 000 infections, and 5,604 COVID-19 related deaths since the pandemic began.

South Africa, which has recorded the most coronavirus cases and deaths on the African continent, scrapped the mandatory wearing of face masks in July.

A number of countries have the mandatory wearing of face masks.

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