As the government deliberates on alternative regulations to the national state of disaster, DA leader John Steenhuisen has again called for the scrapping of all Covid-19 regulations.
On Monday, Steenhuisen outlined several reasons the party was calling for SA to go back to pre-Covid-19 times.
March 23 will mark exactly two years since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that SA would go on a 21-day hard lockdown to prepare the health system for a high influx of Covid-19 patients.
Nearly two years later, SA is still in lockdown, albeit on a less severe alert level 1.
The current regulations, among others restrictions, limit the number of people allowed to gather indoors and outdoors as part of the non-pharmaceutical response to the pandemic.
International travellers are required to produce a negative Covid-19 test that is not older than 72 hours. If unable to produce proof of vaccination, travellers are required to do an antigen test on arrival at their own cost.
If the traveller tests positive for Covid-19, they are required to isolate at their own cost, for a period of 10 days.
Steenhuisen lamented that SA has been slower than other countries at easing regulations.
“While the rest of the world has filled stadiums for sport and shows, in SA, the Soweto Derby had to take place in an empty stadium this weekend. Outdoor and indoor limits of 2,000 and 1,000 prevent the events industry from reviving.
Steenhuisen also weighed in on mask-wearing, saying this regulation needs to be scrapped and only reserved for high-risk areas.
This regulation, in schools, only serves as a source of discomfort and barrier to effective teaching and learning, he said.
The reduced death rate and hospitalisation of Covid-19 infected people mean that SA needs to begin to live with the virus, he added.
“It is time to treat Covid-19 in the same way as we treat other health risks, such as HIV, TB, cancer, and maternal mortality.
“Like other countries, we need to license cheap and quick rapid tests for home use so that people can judge for themselves if they pose a risk to the vulnerable. It makes no sense to limit these to medical supervision,” he said.
The DA has previously called for the scrapping of the national state of disaster.
Health minister Joe Phaahla recently announced that new regulations that will replace the state of disaster are being drafted and assessed by the National Coronavirus Command Council , among other stakeholders, before they are announced publicly.