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No masks at public schools, WC Education Department announces

Mask wearing at schools are no longer required. Picture: Courtney Africa African News Agency (ANA)

Mask wearing at schools are no longer required. Picture: Courtney Africa African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 23, 2022

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Cape Town - Staff and pupils at public schools across the Western Cape no longer have to wear masks nearly two-and -a-half years after it was implemented by the government.

This follows the announcement last night by National Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, who repealed all remaining Covid-19 restrictions.

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Bronagh Hammond of the Western Cape Education Department made the announcement this morning.

She said pupils and staff no longer had to wear masks but those that chose to wear it for health reasons may do so.

“Last night, the National Minister of Health, Dr Phaahla, repealed Regulation 16A of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions: Amendment, 2022, in Government Gazette No. 46590 of 22 June 2022. It is therefore no longer mandatory to wear face masks in indoor public places. This also applies to public schools.

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“Learners, educators and school-based public servants are therefore not required to wear face masks at schools.

“However, should a learner, educator or staff member wish to continue to wear a face mask for health reasons, they may continue to do so,” she said.

Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis also made the announcement that mask-wearing was a thing of the past.

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This included all other restrictions such as masks being worn in public venues and facilities.

“I welcome Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla’s repeal of the remaining Covid restrictions. In Cape Town, we will immediately lift all remaining restriction measures at City facilities and buildings,” he said.

“This includes capacity limitations at facilities, the compulsory wearing of face masks and compulsory hand sanitising at the entrances to facilities.

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“This means residents will once again be able to fill our stadiums, sports facilities, clinic waiting rooms, payment halls and so on.

“The Covid-19 restrictions have not just been a minor inconvenience. Due to capacity limitations, for example, people have unfortunately at times had to queue for long periods of time outside in the hot sun, cold wind and rain at clinics, motor licensing facilities and walk-in centres.

“Our Safe Spaces for homeless residents have not been able to operate at full capacity.

“Our entertainment industry has suffered and many people have been unable to attend sports events because of restrictions on theatres and stadiums.

“The decision to repeal the remaining regulations is long overdue.

“We are optimistic about Cape Town’s future post-Covid-19, and look forward to the full resumption of business, tourist, and social activity in the City,” he said.

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