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Your Covid-19 questions answered

With lockdown restrictions lifted can my company force me to wear a mask?

21 July 2022 - 07:00
Health minister Joe Phaahla said it is up to business owners if they want to implement regulations, including the wearing of face masks. File photo.
Health minister Joe Phaahla said it is up to business owners if they want to implement regulations, including the wearing of face masks. File photo.
Image: 123RF/inlooka

With Covid-19 regulations repealed, many people are uncertain whether they should still wear face masks or ditch them completely.

The government last month set aside regulations governing the wearing of face masks in public and limits on gatherings.

However, it encouraged those who wish to continue wearing masks to do so at their own discretion.

Can my company force me to wear a mask?

Health minister Joe Phaahla said it is up to business owners if they want to implement regulations, including the wearing of face masks.

“If you run a facility, you have the right to determine regulations. Whether you run a shop, a restaurant, or a hotel, you can have your own regulations that you are comfortable with and your clients are happy with as well,” said Phaahla. 

He said a school governing body may also decide to keep its own mask mandates in place and this is separate from the government’s policies.

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga said her department would support pupils and staff who want to continue to wear face masks in schools. 

“In line with this decision to repeal the regulations, wearing of face masks by pupils in classrooms and indoor gatherings is no longer a requirement. Those pupils and staff who want to continue to wear a face mask in schools will be allowed to exercise this option,” she said. 

Last week, the cabinet urged people with comorbidities and those who are ill to still wear face masks. 

“Though the country scrapped the compulsory wearing of masks in public, people with comorbidities and those who are ill are encouraged to continue wearing a mask,” it said.

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