- Face masks will no longer be required to be worn on flights following the health minister's regulation change
- FlySafair’s Chief Marketing Officer Kirby Gordon said the airline would follow the government’s regulations
- He said while face masks do offer protection, passengers are not under obligation to wear them during flights
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CAPE TOWN - Wearing face masks while travelling via airlines in South Africa will be optional. This comes after Minister of Health Joe Phaahla gazetted that masks are no longer mandatory.
Passengers were required to wear face masks throughout their flights except while eating and drinking throughout the pandemic. Therefore, FlySafair’s Chief Marketing Officer Kirby Gordon said the airline would follow the government’s regulations.
Speaking to Business Insider SA, Gordon said it is hard to tell how people will react to others not wearing masks since it has become a norm. He said the airline’s hope is that passengers are courteous to each other and understand that wearing masks affords one a primary level of protection. Gordon said as per the regulations, passengers are not under obligation to wear them.
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Politicians also supported the no-mask mandate, and amongst those was Western Cape Premier Alan Winde. He said it is up to the individual to choose if they want to wear a mask or not, News24 reported.
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Winde said the country needs to learn to live with the pandemic, and South Africans are no longer required to continue with curbs that have been “throttling” the economy.
SA reacts to new regulations
South Africans believe that wearing a mask should be a personal choice:
Launce Roberts said:
“It’s a personal choice… they have been wearing them in Asia since the first Sars outbreak in 2003. Not a big deal. Wear it if you want or not!”
Sanette Terblanche commented:
“That’s their problem. They can continue to wear their masks if they like.”
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Phumudzo Mathidzha posted:
“Those uncomfortable customers should not fly. Problem solved.”
Dane Getkate added:
“So have two options. Masked flight or not. Let people choose.”
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In a related matter, Briefly News also reported more than two years after South Africans first started wearing face masks, Minister of Health Joe Phaahla gazetted that there is no legal requirement to wear them on Wednesday 22 June.
Masks became a requirement when the national state of disaster was implemented in 2020 following the Covid-19 pandemic. South Africans were required to wear face masks in all public shapes.
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Source: Briefly News