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Government must accept guidance from scientists and medical experts regarding health regulations

Although President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the government consulted with scientists and medical experts in compiling the proposed health regulations, which were published in the Government Gazette last week, it seems that some of the regulations are not well thought through.

The regulations are meant to manage the current Covid-19 pandemic as well as any other pandemics that may break out in the future, and enable government to lift the current state of disaster.

In effect it means that the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) will no longer regulate the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of the Disaster Management Act, but that the Minister of Health will do so in terms of the Health Act.

Restrictions, however, still depend on the government's whims and abuse of power.

It makes no sense that South Africa, which was not as hard hit by the pandemic as the rest of the world, wants to retain the compulsory wearing of masks, one-meter social distancing and vaccination certificates as part of its proposed health regulations, while various other countries, like Britain, have recently lifted all Covid-19-related restrictions.

Since August 2021, the FF Plus has been pointing out to the government that making vaccinations compulsory will not have the desired effect on the country's citizens, on the contrary, it will only result in needless tension and chaos in communities.

Every person must have the freedom to choose whether or not they want to be vaccinated and those who chose not to must not be discriminated against.

The tourism industry may take longer to recover as well seeing as tourists may still be subjected to having their temperatures taken, tests, isolation / quarantine, or having to present proof of vaccination.

The Covid-19 state of disaster must be lifted completely without any further restricting regulations hampering economic activities.

The FF Plus is, therefore, calling on all scientists, medical experts and the public to comment on the proposed regulations, as published in the Government Gazette 46048 of 15 March 2022, before the 15th of April 2022.

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