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Mask wearing, restrictions on gatherings and restrictions on entry into SA may soon be things of the past, according to recommendations by health minister Joe Phaahla. 

The last remaining pandemic restrictions are set to be lifted — a welcome move, with the latest epidemiological analysis indicating that from mid-June there had been a decline in the number of cases, hospital admissions and deaths. There has also been a drop in the test positivity rate. 

The tourism and leisure sectors — key money-spinners contributing to the economy — will breathe a sigh of relief after the damaging impact on their businesses during more than two years of restrictions, which resulted in business closures and retrenchments. 

As for masks, those who wish to protect themselves or others remain free to wear them. But already, compliance in public places was low and enforcement impossible. 

The lifting of the final pandemic restrictions will mark a psychological boost for SA after two years of often nonsensical and at times downright bizarre bans. Think rotisserie chickens and open-toed shoes … 

Finally, sense has prevailed. 


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