After much debate about whether masks are useful in the fight against COVID-19, government has now made it mandatory for commuters to wear them in taxis and called on South Africans to put them on when leaving their homes.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Thursday evening on the re-opening of some economic activity and the easing of lockdown restrictions from next Friday.
The president said no travel would be allowed between provinces except for the transportation of goods and for funerals.
“Public transport will continue to operate, with limitations on the number of passengers and stringent hygiene requirements, including that all passengers must wear a face mask,” he said.
Ramaphosa said everyone was called on to wear a face mask.
“As we begin the easing of lockdown restrictions from the beginning of May, we are calling on all South Africans to wear a face mask whenever you leave home,” Ramaphosa said. “Our clothing and textile industry – including many small businesses – are gearing up to produce these masks on a mass scale,” he added.
He said the elderly and those with underlying conditions should remain at home and take additional precautions to isolate themselves.