The Department of Health has published the proposed health regulations to deal with Covid-19 and other notifiable medical conditions outside the National State of Disaster.

Government is calling for public comments “to allow the public to have meaningful input into the decision-making process” after it extended the National State of Disaster with another month.

In a statement on Wednesday, the department’s spokesperson Foster Mohale said that this is part of the government`s transition plans from the current National State of Disaster which has been in place more than two years since it was first declared in response to Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, in order to have a specific legal instrument to manage the current and future pandemics.

Proposed regulations

“The proposed regulations seek to introduce a number of control measures which include the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions; Public Health measures in points of entry; Management of Human Remains; and finally regulations relating to Environmental Health,” Mohale said.

According to the proposed regulations with regards to measures in ports of entry, it is proposed all people entering or exiting South Africa during the pandemics, should present negative PRC test results not older than 72 hours, in the event that they do not have full vaccination certificate.


The department said that this repeals the current requirement of negative PRC test results for all incoming travellers, with or without a vaccination certificate.

“As part of efforts to manage transmission during large gatherings considered to be possible superpreader events, the regulations proposed the restriction of night vigils and after-funeral gatherings. The indoor and outdoor gatherings may be occupied up to 50% of the venue capacity provided there is production of a valid vaccine certificate; practice of social distance of at least one metre and compulsory wearing of mask.

“The attendance of indoor gatherings without proof of vaccination will be limited to only 1000 people and 2000 for outdoors with social distancing of at least one metre social distance,” the department said.

The department said that these regulations have been presented to the NatJoints structures, including the Legal and Regulatory Measures Workstream (LRMWS) as per NatJoints resolution that all legislative frameworks to be developed outside the Disaster Management Act must be presented to the LRMWS.


Once approved, these regulations will be implemented within the National Department of Health with the support of some of the public entities reporting to the department, and will not be tabled before Parliament since they are subordinate legislation which Parliament has already delegated to the Minister.

Submit comments

“All interested parties, both individuals and stakeholders are invited to submit their comments or representations within 30 days from the date of publishing in order to make sure that their voices are heard,” the department said.

The closing date for the process of submissions is Friday 15 April 2022 in order to allow the government to consider all the comments accordingly.

A copy of the regulations (No 46045 of 15 March 2022) is available and accessible on various government platforms including the Department of Health website here.

 

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