“Wearing masks is important. We want to recommend widespread use of masks. We are recommending that people can use cloth masks, just make sure there’s a three layer kind of thing.”
Dr Zweli Mkhize, Health Minister

All you need to know about masks

Wearing a mask when in public places, especially crowded places, can help slow the spread of Covid-19. Even when wearing a mask, hand-washing and social distancing remain the most important interventions to reduce the spread of Covid-19


Cloth masks are easy and not expensive to make, reusable and help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 by acting like a shield to contain the respiratory droplets through which the virus spreads.

The purpose of the mask is to reduce droplets that come out of the mouth or nose during speaking, coughing and sneezing.


Avoid touching the mask or your face while you’re out and when you get back home, wash the mask with soap and water immediately WITHOUT USING CHEMICALS and wash your hands again.

After washing, the masks should then be ironed or left out in the sun to dry.

You should not share your mask with anybody else, and it is preferable if every person has two masks so they can be interchanged during washes.

Remember not to handle the inside layer of the mask when taking it off or putting it on.


The public should not wear medical masks – these are reserved as personal protective equipment for our healthcare workers who are on the front line of our battle against COVID-19.

Our healthcare workers need medical-grade masks and respirators to stay healthy so they can save the lives of people who have COVID-19. Let us give them the tools to fight that battle.