South African Cabinet Approves Changes to Covid Regulations
South African Cabinet Approves Changes to Covid Regulations. Photo: SA News

The South African Cabinet has approved changes to the Adjusted Alert Level 1 COVID-19 regulations as South Africa has exited the fourth wave nationally.

Based on the trajectory of the pandemic and the levels of vaccination in the country, Cabinet has decided to make changes to Adjusted Alert Level 1 with immediate effect.

With the new changes, those who test positive with no symptoms, do not have to isolate.

The isolation period has been reduced from 10 to seven days for individuals who test positive with symptoms and contacts do not have to isolate unless they develop symptoms.

“The rationale for these amendments is informed by the proportion of people with immunity to COVID-19, which has risen substantially, exceeding 60-80% in several sero-surveys.

FEDHASA – which represents South Africa’s hospitality industry – has welcomed the announcement, but has also urged the SA government to scrap the requirement for PCR testing for incoming travellers who are vaccinated. They say this requirement has already been removed by several countries, and that by keeping it, it is a deterrent to travellers.

Regulations for schools

“Cabinet also reviewed the resumption of schooling to full-time learning in all schools. Primary, secondary and special schools will return to daily attendance. The regulatory provision for social distancing of 1 metre for learners in schools has also been removed,” Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, said on Monday.

In the coming days, the Ministers of Health and Basic Education will issue directives reflecting on this new approach.

Gungubele also reminded “those who are yet to get vaccinated to go for their COVID-19 vaccination and continue observing basic health protocols to prevent the transmission of the virus”.

There have been 1 366 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, representing an 8.1% positivity rate, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Monday.

Gauteng remains the worst-hit province after 563 people tested positive, followed by 189 in the Western Cape, 175 in KwaZulu-Natal, 132 in Mpumalanga, while the rest of the provinces recorded less than 100 infections.