South Africa to lift state of disaster next week — here are the proposed rules

The South African government plans to lift the state of disaster by 5 April 2022, cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said during a press conference on Tuesday.

As part of the transition out of the state of disaster, the minister published new regulations intended to remain in effect 30 days after the end of the state of disaster.

Dlamini-Zuma said these regulations were necessary to prevent a “reckless and abrupt” move away from the state of disaster.

The regulations are open for public comment for 48 hours — until 17:00 on 1 April 2022.

The government will consider feedback before finalising and gazetting the regulations.

It is hoped that President Cyril Ramaphosa will then address the nation on lifting the state of disaster by Tuesday, 5 April 2022.

It should be noted that these regulations are separate from the health department’s proposed amendments to the National Health Act, which are open to comment until 16 April 2022.

Other government departments will likely propose regulatory changes in the coming weeks to help deal with Covid-19 within specific industries.

The table below details the proposed temporary regulations envisioned for the 30-day transition period following the lifting of the state of disaster.

Mask-wearing
What is allowed
  • The wearing of a face mask is mandatory for every person when in an indoor public place, excluding children under six.
  • The school environment is excluded from maintaining a physical distance of at least one metre from another person.
  • An employer may not allow any employee to perform any duties or enter the employment premises if the employee is not wearing a face mask while performing their duties.
What is not allowed
  • No person will be allowed to enter or be in a building, place or premises, including government buildings, places or premises, used by the public to obtain goods or services, if they are not wearing a face mask.
Gatherings and sporting events
What is allowed
  • All gatherings are permitted at 50% of the venue capacity, provided attendants produce a valid vaccination certificate or negative Covid-19 test not older than 72 hours before the event starts.
  • Gatherings at a workplace for work purposes are allowed, subject to strict adherence to all health protocols and social distancing measures.
What is not allowed
  • Gatherings exceeding 1,000 people indoors and 2,000 people outdoors without screening attendees for vaccination and Covid-19 status.
  • Exceeding 50% of venue capacity with all attendees maintaining one-metre physical distancing.
International travel
What is allowed
  • Travelling to and from South Africa via air travel is allowed, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.
  • All international travellers must present a valid vaccination certificate or negative Covid-19 test no older than 72 hours.
  • Travelling between South Africa and neighbouring countries is permitted with a vaccination certificate or negative Covid-19 test no older than 72 hours.
  • Any Covid-19 test recognised by the World Health Organisation is permitted.
  • The same 21 land borders which are fully operational will remain open, while the 32 closed borders will remain closed.
  • International air travel is limited to these airports:  OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International Airport, Cape Town International Airport, Lanseria International Airport, and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
What is not allowed
  • Entering South Africa without a valid vaccination certificate or negative Covid-19 test no older than 72 hours.
Public Transport
What is not allowed
  • No person will be allowed to use, operate, or perform any service on any form of public transport without a mask.

 Proposed transitional regulations


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South Africa to lift state of disaster next week — here are the proposed rules