Proposed COVID-19 health regulations published for public comment
Wed, 16 March 2022
The Department of Health has published the proposed health regulations to deal with COVID-19 and other notifiable medical conditions outside the National State of Disaster for public comments.
This is part of the government's transition plans from the current National State of Disaster which has been in place for more than two years in order to have a specific legal instrument to manage the current and future pandemics.
The proposed regulations seek to introduce a number of control measures which include the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions; Public Health measures in points of entry; Management of Human Remains; and finally regulations relating to Environmental Health.
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According to the proposed regulations with regards to measures in ports of entry, all people entering or exiting South Africa during the pandemics, should present negative PCR test results not older than 72 hours, in the event that they do not have full vaccination certificate. This repeals the current requirement of negative PCR test results for all incoming travellers, with or without a vaccination certificate.
The regulations propose that indoor and outdoor gatherings may be occupied up to 50% of the venue capacity provided there is production of a valid vaccine certificate; practice of social distance of at least one metre and compulsory wearing of mask.
The attendance of indoor gatherings without proof of vaccination would be limited to 1000 people, and 2000 for outdoor gatherings with social distancing of at least one metre.
Face masks will also remain compulsory for indoor gatherings, public premises or public transport despite many countries having already dropped mask mandates completely.
According to the media statement, once approved the regulations will be implemented within the National Department of Health with the support of some of the public entities reporting to the department, and will NOT be tabled before Parliament since they are subordinate legislation which Parliament has already delegated to the Minister.
Interested parties are invited to submit their comments or representations within 30 days from the date of publishing. The process will close by the latest Friday 15 April 2022.
No details regarding the public participation procedure were given in the media statement.
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