The National Department of Health on Thursday confirmed media speculation that government has taken a decision to do away with the restrictive measures put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country, including the requirement for people to wear a cloth face-mask (also known as a non-medical mask) when in public.
This is the first time in more than two years that South African malls, taxis and other public spaces will not be filled with people wearing face masks.
The news that government has repealed the regulations it had put in place in an effort to curb the deadly virus was contained in a government gazette published on Thursday night. The repeal also means that restrictions on gatherings are no longer necessary.
Jessica Redinger, from hotel group IHG Hotels & Resorts, said the repeal of the regulations was a great day for the travel and tourism industry.
“We foresee a promising boost in demand from international business travellers who will feel more confident to travel to South Africa now that the last hurdles to ‘get back to business’ have finally been removed. It will also be great to see all my staffs friendly smiling faces again,” she said.
South Africa has registered nearly 4 million positive Covid-19 cases since the first case of the virus was first detected in the country in March 2020. To date, just over 100 000 people have died from the virus which brough economies around the world to a standstill.