23 June 2022 | Story Lacea Loader
UFS drops wearing of masks on campus

The management of the University of the Free State (UFS) has taken note of the announcement by the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, in the Government Gazette on 22 June 2022, in which COVID-19 regulations were repealed.

Minister Phaahla stated that, as from 22 June, South Africans no longer have to wear masks, and that limits on gatherings and border checks for COVID-19, as well as the need to be vaccinated in order to enter South Africa, have also been dropped.

The UFS COVID-19 Regulations and Required Vaccination Policy has created an environment that the university management regards as safe. This, together with yesterday’s announcement by the Minister, was considered, and a decision was made that the wearing of masks on campus or in any building on campus is no longer compulsory.

However, the UFS COVID-19 Regulations and Required Vaccination Policy remains in place. Campus access control is still in place, and staff, students, and visitors are expected to upload a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative PCR or antigen test result to obtain access to the campuses.

The wearing of masks is still recommended and will be of value especially in the following instances:

1.     For immune-compromised staff, students, and visitors
2.     For persons who are ill with, e.g., flu, colds, coughs, etc.

In the case of staff and students working in public and private hospitals, or any other external laboratory/facility, the wearing of masks is determined by the hospital or the external laboratory/facility and not by the UFS. In any other environment where students or staff are under the regulations of external organisations, these regulations will take precedence. 

Staff and students are encouraged to feel free to continue wearing masks, including those with comorbidities, as masks have been shown to be helpful in preventing the spread of respiratory diseases. Good health-care behaviour remains important as COVID-19 is still a reality.

The university management will decide in due course on the possible upliftment of restrictions on public gatherings.

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Marketing)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za

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