Masks no longer required outdoors, says Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday announced that masks were no longer necessary  in an outdoors setting.

Addressing the nation, Ramaphosa said masks would still be required inside public transport, offices and malls but “not when we are walking in our streets or in an open space, exercising outdoors or jogging or attending an outdoor gathering”.

These changes come as government prepares to lift the state of disaster.

Ramaphosa said the country was ready and better prepared for what lay ahead in the next chapter of Covid-19.

“We are now learning to live with the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Reflecting on the last two years, he said implementation of the lockdown was “drastic and unprecedented but it helped to delay the spread of the virus”.

He highlighted how the country waded through several waves of the pandemic which resulted in 3.7-million infections and almost 100 000 deaths.

Ramaphosa said the pandemic had changed everything about our lives, including how we worked, travelled and socialised.

He also highlighted how the pandemic had had a devastating impact on the economy with scores of businesses being closed and almost two million jobs threatened but he also hailed how the country took unprecedented actions which led to the bettering of the country’s health system, built more hospitals and labs and ensured Covid-19 patients were cared for.

“We are now ready to enter a new chapter,” he said.

Ramaphosa said fewer people were becoming ill and there were fewer deaths than before.

“Our scientists tell us that this is because 60-80% of the population has some form of immunity to the virus — either from previous infection or vaccination,” he added.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday announced the changes that government would make once the Covid-19 national state of disaster is lifted.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday announced the changes that government would make once the Covid-19 national state of disaster is lifted.
Image: Masi Losi

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