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Government will consider making proof of vaccination certificates mandatory

President Cyril Ramaphosa has directed the Cabinet to look into innovative measures that would allow for the country to open up and more activities, including economic, to take place in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

Briefing the media on Thursday on the outcomes of the Wednesday Cabinet meeting, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said a number of ideas relating to proof vaccination certificates have been raised publicly, making the example of the recent campaign by Limpopo MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, which sought to lobby the alcohol industry to consider not selling liquor to unvaccinated persons.

Gungubele also said churches have approached the government on the regulation permitting only 50 congregants at a place of worship, suggesting that proportionality should be considered.

The minister said the government’s approach to dealing with Covid-19 preventative measures should, however, remain indiscriminate, objective and always informed by scientific evidence.

Gungubele added that the government will consider the issue of making proof of vaccination certificates mandatory.

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On Tuesday, Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla told the national council of provinces (NCOP) that the issue of making Covid-19 vaccines mandatory was still being discussed and debated at various levels.

Phaahla said currently his department wants South Africans to take the vaccine voluntarily and that once a sufficient number of people have been vaccinated consideration would be made on whether to make vaccinating mandatory.

The health minister said when unvaccinated people want access to cinemas, public facilities, and other areas used by the public, they should consider that they do not endanger the lives of other people.

Phaahla added, however, that though Covid-19 vaccines do not prevent infections but vaccinated persons transmit the disease less and that unvaccinated people should not put other people at risk.

Gungubele announced on Wednesday that the country will remain on alert level 3 lockdown.

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