Govt's move to scrap mask-wearing, gathering restrictions widely welcomed

Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Thursday made a formal announcement on government's move to repeal the country's last remaining coronavirus mitigating regulations.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla. Picture: @GCISMedia/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Government's decision to scrap COVID-19 restrictions, particularly mask-wearing, after more than two years has been widely supported.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Thursday made a formal announcement on government's move to repeal the country's last remaining coronavirus mitigating regulations.

Officials said that a number of indicators prompted the decision, including a drop in the number of new daily cases, hospitalisations and deaths.

The Basic Education Department has come out in support of the decision to repeal the mask mandate.

Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga: "Learners, teachers, staff will not be expected to be wearing masks in schools but if they wish to continue to do so, they should feel free to do so."

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has, however, warned that it did not mean that employers must adopt a cavalier attitude towards health and safety in the workplace.

Meanwhile, Artscape Theatre CEO, Marlene le Roux, has expressed elation and relief.

"We are particularly thankful that we can now pursue the return to a normal and even invigorated theatre production sector, which does justice to the world-class talent we are blessed with as a nation," Le Roux said.

Cape Town Tourism's Enver Duminy said that the lifting of restrictions was a big win for the sector and would hasten the recovery of local and international tourism.

WATCH: Health Minister: If a facility wants you to wear masks, it's up to them