To: Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by: Department of Health
Date: Thursday, 05 May 2022

Health Department clarifies the wearing of face mask by children at school

Pretoria: The Department of Health has been receiving a lot of feedback from the public since announcing the extension of public consultation process deadline, together with the introduction of limited health regulations meant to manage the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and future notifiable medical conditions.

We would like to urge all South Africans to continue to share their feedback because we believe it will assist the process as we move forward to finalise the regulations.

The Department would also like to bring to the public attention of the confusion created by unfortunate and regrettable human error in the media statement issued yesterday about the removal of face mask wearing by children at school. This is not part of the gazetted health regulations, and is therefore retracted to avoid any misunderstanding of the regulations.

Therefore, children like other people are expected to continue complying with the provisions of Regulation 16A on face masks in the classrooms and general indoor gatherings, unlike outdoors in playgrounds and sports fields.

Face masks are an effective non-pharmaceutical intervention against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it is more relevant now as the number of COVID-19 positive cases is rising once again.

Lastly, the department reminds the public that vaccination services against Covid remain available and accessible, and we can mitigate the impact of the anticipated 5th wave and emerging variants.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Foster Mohale
Director Media Relations
National Health Department
Cell: 072 4323792

Doctor Tshwale
MLO – Health Minister
National Health Department
Cell: 063 657 8487/