By Neelam Rahim
Could we see the stop wearing masks in South Africa soon? The jury’s still out, but speculation is rife that it could happen quickly.
A circular sent from Health Minister Joe Phaahla to provincial health MECs has recommended that every COVID-19 restriction be lifted, including wearing masks indoors and limiting public gatherings.
This follows a gathering with National Coronavirus Command Council on Monday, during which the proposals were made. The cupboard is anticipated to satisfy within the following few days.
The letter also recommended changes to restrictions of gatherings. There was currently a 50% limit on the number of individuals allowed during a venue if people were fully vaccinated or if people could produce proof of their negative Covid-19 tests, including the advice that the country drops its entry requirements for travellers. Currently, travellers are expected to point out a vaccination certificate, or a negative Covid-19 test, as per News24.
Cyril Ramaphosa will meet with all nine provincial premiers at the President’s Coordinating Council. The ANC leader uses the PCC to debate significant changes to COVID-19 laws, amongst other things.
Eyewitness News reporter Kevin Brandt said the minister’s spokesperson declined to substantiate the letter’s authenticity. But he said the govt. Had continued its consultative process with health experts because the numbers of COVID-19 infections dropped.
According to The South African, Alan Winde, the Western Cape Premier, confirmed that the PCC meeting had the green light. However, he won’t exactly be celebrating this so-called “freedom day” – because he thinks all restrictions should have expired a protracted time ago.
“Finally, we might even see an end to any or all Covid-19 curbs, as I’ve got consistently necessitated. But it’s to be emphasised, and it’s disappointing that it’s taken goodbye. The fact is, however, that this might are done earlier.”
“We want to determine a removal of the remaining restrictions immediately, as our data indicate that it’s not required to safeguard our healthcare system. This includes the removal of all restrictions on gatherings, likewise because the removal of the mask mandate.”