Basic Education announces that face masks at schools no longer required

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The Department of Basic Education has now also announced that wearing of face masks by learners and teachers in classrooms and on school premises is no longer a requirement.

Spokesperson for the Education Department Elijah Mhlanga says Minister Angie Motshekga supports the repealing of the mask mandate for learners.

Mhlanga says learners, teachers and staff at schools do not need to wear masks but can continue to do so if they wish.

“The Minister of Basic Educations supports the announcement made by the Minister of Health, that the wearing of masks is no longer mandatory. That means even in school learners, teachers and staff would also not be expected to wear masks in schools or in the classrooms but if they wish to continue to do so, they should feel free to do so. But the announcement by the Department of Health is what the Department of Basic Education is aligning itself with, “says Mhlanga.

Meanwhile, the South African Medical Association (SAMA) says government’s decision to do away with the remaining COVID-19-related regulations did not come as a surprise, as the rules were not being fully enforced in public spaces.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla published the latest amendments in the Government Gazette on Wednesday with strict rules on wearing masks indoors and limitations on gatherings now being repealed.

SAMA chairperson Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa says, “Most people have already gotten rid of masks. This is just an official statement and there was poor enforcement of those regulations anyway. You have seen funerals full to capacity and in public transport, people were already not wearing masks, so I don’t think it is a new thing but now it is just official.”

Limitations on gatherings as well as testing and vaccination requirements for visitors to South Africa are also scrapped. These regulations were implemented as part of the national state of disaster since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country, two years ago.

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