Covid-19: Masks must still be worn at schools, govt clarifies

5th May 2022 By: News24Wire

Covid-19: Masks must still be worn at schools, govt clarifies

The Department of Health has clarified that pupils should continue wearing face masks in school.  

On Thursday, the department stated it was a "regrettable human error" that their Wednesday statement said pupils should not wear masks in school.

"This is not part of the gazetted health regulations and is, therefore, retracted to avoid any misunderstanding of the regulations." 

"Therefore, children like other people are expected to continue complying with the provisions of Regulation 16A on face masks in the classrooms and general indoor gatherings, unlike outdoors in playgrounds and sports fields."

The Health Department reiterated its view that masks are a good non-pharmaceutical preventative measure against Covid-19.

But the opposition Democratic Alliance is not happy with the new limited regulations, which is said were released at the "99th hour" without consultation on Wednesday night.

The old regulations were about to expire. 

The DA considers them a sneaky way of extending the State of Disaster, ended by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 19 April. 

"Again, the ANC is governing through regulations, without consulting South Africans or Parliament, and in this case, likely promulgating regulations beyond the scope of the [Health] Act. We will not hesitate to go to court to confront government in abusing its powers," the party said in a statement issued by MP Michele Clarke.  

The party has already stated its opposition to the proposed regulations on the grounds that they could force medical tests examinations, tests, and "treatment" such as the Covid-19 vaccine. 

"While the DA strongly supports vaccinations, we do not believe it should be mandatory," the party said.