Updated Covid rules for schools in South Africa

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The Department of Basic Education has confirmed that it will adjust its existing regulations to align with new South African regulations regarding mask wearing and gatherings.

In a statement released Thursday, June 23, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said she supported the repeal of the mask mandate for learners and that the department would make regulatory changes to align with the new changes.

“Consistent with this decision to repeal the regulations, the wearing of face masks by learners in classrooms and indoor gatherings is no longer a requirement. Learners and staff who wish to continue wearing face coverings in schools will be permitted to exercise this option“said the minister.

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She said the department will also continue to support Covid-19 vaccination of all learners over the age of 12, with parental consent.

The announcement comes after Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Wednesday repealed several Covid-19 regulations regarding the wearing of face masks, gatherings and people entering the country.

The release of the regulations means the wearing of face masks in any indoor space for public use or on public transport to contain the spread of Covid-19 is now gone.

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People gathering in public spaces will no longer be limited to certain numbers. The requirements for entering and leaving the country have also been removed.

“We want to take this opportunity on behalf of all governments to thank South Africans for their support and cooperation over the past two years and three months,” Phaahla said at a press briefing on Thursday.

“Although there was a lot of common ground and agreement, even in political lives at the start of the pandemic, when we all thought it would be short and over in a few months, the longer it took, the more fatigue and disagreements over strategy began to surface. We appreciate the fact that despite disagreements leading even to threats or even real legal action, the central framework of our collective action has remained until today.

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