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Health: Solidarity questions legality of new Covid regulations

Solidarity has issued Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla with a legal letter asking him to disclose how the decision on the new Covid-19 health regulations was reached. It believes the new regulations are 'unlawful and irrational’, reports Polity. Phaahla published amendments to health regulations on Wednesday night, just hours before the 30 days of transitional rules –implemented after the end of the national State of Disaster – automatically lapsed. The regulations retain the wearing of masks in all indoor public spaces. The venue capacity for indoor and outdoor gatherings is a maximum of 50% if attendees are vaccinated against Covid-19 and have a valid vaccination certificate. If these requirements are not met, attendees must produce a valid negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours prior to the date of the gathering. Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said it has taken SA back to family meetings and lockdowns. Hermann said there was major uncertainty about the legal framework within which these limited regulations functioned. ‘The most draconic and worrying of the new regulations is the fact that the Minister of Health can arbitrarily decide to enact or withdraw them. Practically, this means the Minister can put the whole country into lockdown with no prior notice and no limits to this power. The huge uncertainty this creates in several sectors of the economy will have major consequences if the regulations remain as is,’ he said.

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