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'We've been doing that!'- Here’s what SA is talking about after latest lockdown changes

23 March 2022 - 08:00
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation about Covid-19 regulations on Tuesday night. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation about Covid-19 regulations on Tuesday night. File photo.
Image: GCIS

The easing of mask wearing regulations and continued prohibition of after tears events seem to have resonated with many social media users who took to Twitter to respond to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on Tuesday night. 

The president announced further easing of lockdown regulations two years after SA entered a hard lockdown in March 2020. 

Ramaphosa said as the pandemic continues to evolve, government was implementing new ways to manage it, including the alternative regulations recently published by the department of health, that will replace the national state of disaster. 

He said the department was awaiting public comment before finalising and signing them into law.

“In deciding which restrictions to ease and which to keep in place, we are guided, as before, by the advice of the ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19. We have also looked at the experiences of other countries, including those where the complete lifting of restrictions has been followed by a surge in infections and deaths.

“Knowing we have to enter a new phase in our management of the pandemic, we took time to consult widely with stakeholders, including religious bodies and traditional leaders,” said the president.

The number of attendees allowed at funerals has been increased from 100 to 200 while night vigils and after tears events remain prohibited. 

“A mask is not required when outdoors. This means we still need to wear masks when in shops, malls, offices, factories, taxes, buses, trains or any other indoor public space. But we do not need to wear masks when walking on the street or in an open space, when exercising outdoors or when attending an outdoor gathering,” said Ramaphosa.

Previously, masks were required indoors and outdoors. Ramaphosa said these regulations are effective from Wednesday.

Ramaphosa also announced that those who have been vaccinated or recently tested negative for Covid-19 will be able to attend stadiums and large concert venues.

Travellers entering South Africa will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours.

Among some responses online were those who said they will continue wearing masks for maximum protection, while others said they stopped wearing masks long before the president’s speech.

Here’s a snapshot of the responses: 

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