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Newly gazetted Covid-19 regulations: passengers will still have to wear masks when flying

File photo: All international travellers arriving at South Africa’s numerous ports of entry must be vaccinated against Covid-19 and produce a valid vaccination certificate. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

File photo: All international travellers arriving at South Africa’s numerous ports of entry must be vaccinated against Covid-19 and produce a valid vaccination certificate. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 5, 2022

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The Department of Health has gazetted limited Covid-19 regulations with effect from Thursday, making it compulsory to wear masks indoors in South Africa except for children in schools.

The regulations also affect passengers on all airlines, who are still required to wear masks on flights, which are considered a form of public transport.

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This comes as South Africa experiences another rise in Covid-19 cases.

The mask mandate was set to lapse after midnight on May 4. However, the Department of Health released its amendments late on Wednesday evening, stating that the mandate for masks will stay in place.

“As per the Minister of Health Joe Phaahla’s recent update to the Covid-19 regulations, FlySafair will continue to ensure that our staff, crew and passengers wear their masks at all times,” said Kirby Gordon, chief marketing officer at FlySafair.

“We understand that some passengers may feel frustrated by the regulations; however, we ask that people remain patient with our crew and staff,” added Gordon.

International arrivals

All international travellers arriving at South Africa’s numerous ports of entry must be vaccinated against Covid-19 and produce a valid vaccination certificate, or produce a valid negative PCR Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours before the date of departure.

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“Alternatively, travellers have another option of producing a valid negative antigen Covid-19 test result performed by a medical practitioner, registered public health authority or accredited/approved laboratory obtained not older than 48 hours before the date of departure,” said Department of Health spokesperson Foster Mohale.

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