While the National State of Disaster has been terminated, South Africa will still have “transitional measures”, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa announced during his address to the nation on Monday that Cabinet has decided to end the country’s State of Disaster, which will come into effect at midnight.
However, the President said that there will be measures, which will lapse after 30 days, to allow for a smooth transition since the requirements for a State of Disaster to be declared in terms of the Disaster Management Act are no longer met.
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He indicated that the pandemic will now be managed in terms of the National Health Act.
“Accordingly, certain transitional provisions will remain in place for a period of 30 days after the termination of the national State of Disaster to ensure essential public health precautions and other necessary services are not interrupted while the new regulations in terms of the National Health Act come into effect,” the President said.
“What this means is that all regulations and directions made in terms of the Disaster Management Act following the declaration of the national State of Disaster in response to Covid-19 are repealed with effect from midnight tonight, with the exception of a few transitional measures,” Ramaphosa added.
Here are the transitional regulations:
- Masks are required for indoor gatherings only
- Social distancing in gatherings (1 metre) except for schools
- Restrictions on gatherings – 1,000 people indoors and 2,000 outdoors – will continue.
- Both indoor and outdoor venues can take up to 50% of their capacity without any maximum limit, provided that proof of vaccination or a Covid-19 test not older than 72 hours is presented for entrance to the venue. In the absence of proof of vaccination or a PCR test, the number of people to be accommodated in a venue should be 1,000 indoors and 2,000 outdoors
- Travellers coming into South Africa must show proof of vaccination or negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test not older 72 hours. If a traveller does not submit a vaccine certificate or proof of a negative Covid-19 test, they will be required to do an antigen test on arrival. If a traveller tests positive for Covid-19, they will need to isolate for 10 days.
- The special R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant will remain in place.
Ramaphosa said other regulations “will fall away at midnight tonight”, adding that the adjusted levels of lockdown won’t apply anymore.
“These include regulations on isolation of persons, on schools and access to old age homes, on public transport, on initiation practices, on cargo transportation, and on criminalisation of non-adherence to these rules.
“The end of the national State of Disaster also means that the coronavirus alert levels will no longer apply,” the President continued.
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He also said the Covid-19 Vaccine Injury No-Fault Compensation Scheme will “outlive” the State of Disaster.
The Department of Health last month published new draft regulations, which will be part of the National Health Act.
Government will still have the discretion to decide on other restrictions such as curfew, sport activities, lockdowns, economic activities, the sale of alcohol, among others.
South African citizens have until 16 April to share their thoughts on the regulations.
Meanwhile, the Department of Employment and Labour has also published a new Code of Good Practice for Covid-19 and mandatory vaccinations in the workplace.
The new code was gazetted in March, and has since sparked a debate.
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