Aug 2020 1st edition

New mask regulations in schools

Schools are not allowed to turn away learners for not wearing face masks. 

Face masks and coverings are now mandatory in South Africa, however, according to the new regulations, schools should not turn away learners for not wearing them.

President Cyril Ramaphosa introduced some amended lockdown rules with immediate effect, as the number of COVID-19 infections rise in South Africa.

Masks are now compulsory and those failing to comply will face arrest.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) gazetted the amended government regulations following the President's address to the nation.

According to the department, the principal, owner or manager of an Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre must take all reasonable steps in ensuring that there are sufficient cloth facemasks, homemade or other appropriate items that cover the nose and mouth.

COGTA said these must be provided to learners who may not have.

Should a learner arrive without wearing a mask at an educational institution, they must be supplied with one if possible, the department advised. 

“If the school or ECD centre cannot provide such a learner with an appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth, the learner must be isolated and his or her parent, guardian or caregiver must be contacted without delay to bring the item for the learner," the department said.

Alternatively, a school or ECD centre should arrange safe transport for the learner to go back home to pick it up.   ñ

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