Joe Phaala

South African government has put an end to COVID-19 curbs including the wearing of face masks effective from 22 June 2022.

Health minister Joe Phaala published a notice in the Government Gazette yesterday repealing the country’s COVID-19 regulations.

“The repeal of the regulations concerned will come into operation on publication in the Gazette.”Health Minister Joe Phaala said.

These include wearing masks, curbs on gathering sizes and border checks for COVID-19. Health Minister Joe Phaala earlier this week suggested the restrictions be dropped following the decline in hospitalisations and reported cases.

An announcement regarding the regulations was only expected later this week after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet met on Thursday.

“I Mathume Joseph Phaahla, minister of Health hereby repeal Regulations 16A, 16B and 16C of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions… in their entirety,” Phaala said.

As of mid-June, the critical indicators showed a decline in reported cases of hospitalisations, the effective reproductive rate of the virus to under 0.7%the positivity rate and reported deaths.

Meanwhile, South Africa Tuesday recorded 1,087 new COVID-19 cases bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 987 979.

This increase represents a 7.8% positivity rate, said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.