Education - Coronavirus COVID-19 | South African Government (2022)

Universities and further education institutions


For the updated calendar go to School calendar.


The following is an extraction from the published Gazette 45877 of 6 February 2022. (All previous directions are withdrawn)

4. Entry to school premises

(1) No person, other than a learner or official, may enter a school premises or hostel,unless such person obtains the permission of, and makes arrangements with, theprincipal or Head of Department in advance before entering the school premises orhostel.

(2) Sub-direction (1) does not preclude any state institution supporting constitutionaldemocracy from executing their mandate.

(3) Despite sub-direction (1), the principal of a school who convenes or hosts an event oractivity, as contemplated in direction 8, may allow entry of permitted persons for thatevent or activity at the school: Provided that compliance with hygiene and safetymeasures on COVID-19, as contemplated in direction 9; 10 and 11 are complied with.

5. Return of all learners to daily attendance and traditional time tabling model

(1) A risk adjusted differentiated strategy means an approach to school attendance thatis determined by the level of reported COVID-19 infections in the school, andCOVID-19 infections in the district, municipality, province and country.

(2) Primary, secondary and schools for learners with special education needs includinghostels must return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model withno social distancing from 7 February 2022: Provided that the risk adjusteddifferentiated strategy, as contemplated in sub-direction (1), is implemented, andthe health and safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions,the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the Regulations, are adhered to.

(3) Primary, secondary and schools for learners with special education needs includinghostels must ensure strict compliance with health protocols, which include, but notlimited to, the wearing of face masks or face shield for learners with specialeducation needs for ensuring maximum ventilation, the washing of hands and theuse of hand sanitizers, and must comply with safety measures on COVID-19, ascontemplated in these directions, and the Regulations.

(4) Aftercare facilities that are managed by or operating at a school, and in educationsupport centres, may reopen: Provided that they comply with the health, and safetymeasures and requirements on COVID-19, referred to in the DBE StandardOperating Procedures and the DBE Guidelines.

(5) Where a person is a confirmed laboratory positive COVID-19 case and has nosymptoms, he or she is not required to isolate.

(6) Where a person is a confirmed laboratory positive COVID-19 case and hassymptoms, he or she must isolate for 7 days unless a longer period has beenrecommended by a medical practitioner.

(7) Where a learner tests positive and displays symptoms of COVID-19—
(a) the parent, caregiver or a designated family member must inform the schoolas soon as possible of the learner’s condition; and
(b) the school must inform the Head of Department of the incident through thedistrict office.

(8) Where a learner displays symptoms of COVID-19 at school, the school must as soonas possible—
(a) inform the parent, caregiver or a designated family member of the learner’scondition and—
(i) request them to fetch the learner from school;
(ii) advise them to refer the learner to a medical practitioner; and
(iii) advise them that if the learner tests positive with symptoms to keep thelearner isolated at home.

(9) The Head of Department, or a person duly authorised by him or her, mustcontinuously monitor and evaluate the maintenance of hygiene and safetystandards for the duration of the national state of disaster and must report, in writing,every quarter, to the Department of Basic Education on any failure to meet therequired health, and safety measures as well as compliance with COVID-19essentials in the case of a public school.

(10) All windows and doors must remain open to ensure adequate ventilation.

(11) Overcrowding must be avoided by putting measures in place to provide adequatespaces for teaching and learning.

(Video) COVID-19 UPDATE: South Africa's government coronavirus response and vaccination progress: Phaahla

(12) The Head of Department must provide all reasonable support to enable schools tosafely return to a daily attendance and the traditional timetabling model.

(13) Scholar transport must comply with the directions issued by the Department ofTransport.

6. Learners with special educational needs

(1) Officials must be provided by the Provincial Department of Education withappropriate personal protective equipment, including protective clothing, where suchprovision is necessary.

(2) Officials appointed to carry out symptom screening, in schools for deaf learners, mustbe able to communicate using South African Sign Language. Where this is notpossible, a sign language interpreter must be available to ensure propercommunication with the learners.

(3) Written communication for blind learners, as well as those who are Deaf-blind, mustbe through Braille.

(4) The Provincial Department of Education must, at a minimum, provide the followingpersonal protective equipment to learners with visual and hearing impairments:
(a) Face shields, in the case of blind learners;
(b) cloth face masks, in the case of low vision learners, teachers and support staff;and
(c) face shields, in the case of teachers, support staff and learners in schools forthe deaf.

7. School hostels

(1) A school hostel must comply with the -
(a) health, and safety measures and requirements on COVID-19, referred to in DBEStandard Operating Procedures and the DBE Guidelines and, in the case of apublic school also has all the COVID-19 essentials in place; and
(b) ensuring that there is adequate ventilation. proper use of masks, good healthand hygiene practices including the availability of adequate and safe soap andwater resources or sanitisers.

8. Sport and extracurricular activities

(1) Subject to sub-directions (2), (4) and (5), and in compliance with hygiene and safetymeasures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions, the DBE StandardOperating Procedures and the Regulations, the following activities may resume withspectators:
(a) Contact sport, non-contact sport, including training, intra-school and interschoolmatches, and all arts and culture intra-school and inter-school activities;
(b) co-curricular and enrichment programmes, such as oral history, spelling bee,moot court, speech contests, debates and school clubs, may resume activitiesincluding competitive inter-school events and engagements; and
(c) choir practice or rehearsals and choir competitions.

(2) The following health and safety measures must be adhered to when resuming eventsor activities contemplated in this direction:
(a) Face masks must be worn by all persons entering the venues where theactivities take place, change rooms or training areas, except when participatingin training or matches accompanied by vigorous exercise;
(b) there must be sufficient quantities of hand sanitizers, with at least 70% alcoholcontent, available for use by all officials, coaches, assistants, learners andparticipants;
(c) there must be facilities for washing of hands with soap and water;
(d) all windows and doors must remain open to ensure adequate ventilation;
(e) the sharing of drinks and drink containers is not allowed;
(f) a COVID-19 compliance officer must be appointed for each venue;
(g) each of the entry points at the venue must be controlled to ensure that thestipulations with regards to gatherings, as contemplated 2 (p), are compliedwith;
(h) all participants must undergo health and temperature screening before warmupor an event;
(i) any person who enters the venue must undergo health and temperaturescreening;
(j) hand sanitisers must be available at the entrance gate and every person whoenters the venue must sanitise their hands;
(k) participants and officials must sanitise their hands before and after a match orevent;
(l) a person who leaves the venue temporarily and returns, must undergo theprocess of health and temperature screening, and hand sanitising;
(m) if a person has COVID-19 symptoms or presents with a temperature above 38degrees Celsius, that person must be refused access into the venue;
(n) spectators at the venue of a sport event are permitted and the number ofpersons permitted at a venue at any one time is limited to the number asprescribed under the Regulations in respect of gatherings for the particularadjusted Alert Level at the time, and if the venue is too small to hold theprescribed number of persons, observing a distance of at least one and a halfmeters from each other, then not more than 50 percent of the capacity of thevenue may be used, subject to strict adherence to all health protocols;
(o) teams, technical officials, volunteers, relevant stadium staff, medical staff andregistered members of the media or broadcaster team must leave the venue assoon as their responsibilities are completed;
(p) the wearing of face masks must always be maintained by persons who are notparticipating in matches or events;
(q) participants must always wear face masks, except when participating in anevent that involves vigorous exercise and singing;
(r) technical officials must report before the start of any event or competition for aCOVID-19 regulations and protocol briefing session and screening;
(s) all ablution facilities must be sanitised regularly and kept clean as per COVID-19 protocols; and
(t) all sport equipment must be sanitised before and after use.

(3) The principal of a school, or an organiser of a venue, hosting an event or activity contemplated in this direction, who fails to comply with sub-direction (2)(q) and theRegulations, commits an offence and is, on conviction, liable to a fine orimprisonment as contemplated in regulation 69(12) of the Regulations.

(4) Subject to compliance with the Regulations for Safety Measures in Public Schools,as published under Government Notice No. 1040 in Government Gazette No. 22754of 12 October 2001, any travelling required for participation in any of the events oractivities contemplated in this direction may resume and must comply with prescribedtransport regulations and directions.

(5) The school or venue hosting the events or activities contemplated in this directionmust ensure that venues, tools and equipment are cleaned and sanitized before andafter any activities.

(6) In order to ensure compliance with sub-direction (2)(q), schools may prioritiseparents, caregivers or designated family members of participating learners to attendan event.

9. General safety measures at schools, hostels and offices for duration of thenational state of disaster

(1) The Provincial Department of Education is responsible for the provisioning ofpersonal protective equipment and other COVID-19 essentials for officials andlearners in public schools and school hostels.

(2) To ensure the sufficient supply of cloth face masks, in compliance withregulation 34(3)(c) of the Regulations and face shields for learners with specialeducational needs, the principal of a public school, must request the ProvincialDepartment of Education, in writing, through the district office, to procure cloth facemasks and face shields as required by a public school.

(3) All schools and offices must develop a workplace plan containing the followinginformation:
(a) What plans are in place for the employees at the workplace;
(b) what health protocols are in place to protect employees from COVID-19; and
(c) the details of the COVID-19 compliance officer.

(4) A school must send out a notice to all parents informing them that they must not sendlearners to school if the learners have any of the observable symptoms associatedwith COVID-19, including fever, cough, sore throat, redness of eyes and shortnessof breath or difficulty in breathing, body aches, loss of smell or loss of taste, nausea,vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue or weakness.

(Video) South African government's response to COVID-19: Brian Kagaro

(5) Every school, school hostel and office must implement the health and safetymeasures as contained in these directions, the DBE Standard Operating Proceduresand the DBE Guidelines.

10. Symptom screening

(1) All persons entering any school premises, hostel or office must be screened at theentrance.

(2) Screening must be conducted—
(a) by the persons who have either been identified by the school or by the Headof Department; and
(b) in accordance with the Department of Health Protocols and the DBE StandardOperating Procedures and the DBE Guidelines.

(3) All persons who conduct screening must receive the relevant training.

(4) Any person who has any COVID-19 symptoms must immediately report suchsymptoms to the COVID-19 compliance officer of the school, school hostel or officeor any person designated by him or her.

(5) If a person presents with the symptoms referred to in direction 13(6), or informs theCOVID-19 compliance officer or designated official of these symptoms, the school,school hostel or office must—
(a) not permit the person to enter the premises; or
(b) if the person is already on the premises of a school, school hostel or office—
(i) immediately isolate the person, and require that person or, in the caseof a learner, advise the parent or guardian, to make arrangements tobe transported in a manner that does not place any other person ormembers of the public at risk, either to be self-isolated or to go for amedical examination or testing;
(ii) assess the risk of transmission, disinfect the area and any official’s orlearner’s workstation or sleeping quarters, in the case of a schoolhostel;
(iii) refer those persons who may be at risk for screening; and
(iv) take any other appropriate measure to prevent possible transmission.

(6) If there is evidence that any official contracted COVID-19 as a result of occupationalexposure, the school must lodge a claim for compensation in terms of theCompensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act No. 130 of1993) in accordance with the Notice on Compensation for Occupationally-acquiredNovel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), published under Government NoticeNo. 193, in Government Gazette No. 43126 of 23 March 2020, if applicable.

(7) If any person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are symptomatic and hascompleted the period of isolation, that person may return to school, a school hostelor office as contemplated in the Department of Health Guidelines.

(8) The Minister, in consultation with the Minister of Health, will regularly review the DBEStandard Operating Procedures and DBE Guidelines to ensure that health and safetymeasures are consistent with the current and best practices.

11. Sanitizers, disinfectants and masks

(1) For the purposes of these directions, a hand sanitizer as a COVID-19 essential mustbe one that contains at least 70% alcohol and complies with the recommendationsof the Department of Health.

(2) Every school, hostel and office must ensure that there are—
(a) easily accessible, sufficient quantities of hand sanitizers, based on the numberof learners, educators or officials or other persons who access the school,school hostel or office, at the entrance of, and in, the workplace or sleepingquarters, which the persons are required to use; and
(b) facilities for washing of hands with soap and clean water.

(3) Every school, school hostel and office must take proper measures to ensure that—
(a) all work surfaces and equipment are cleaned before school or work begins, orafter school or work ends;
(b) classrooms, sleeping quarters and water and sanitation facilities are cleanedat least once a day by appointed cleaners; and
(c) surfaces that are touched frequently by many people (railings, light switches,communal taps, braille signage, lunch tables, sports equipment, door andwindow handles, toys, teaching and learning aids, etc.) are cleaned morefrequently.

(4) Every Provincial Department of Education must—
(a) provide each official and learner at public schools, with two cloth face masksor face shields; and
(b) require learners and any other person entering the school premises, hostel oroffice to wear a cloth face mask, a homemade item that covers the nose andmouth or another appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth.

12. Learning Recovery

(1) In order to accommodate the teaching time lost as a result of the national state ofdisaster and the adjustment of timetables, the curriculum, as articulated in theCurriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, has been reviewed by the Minister inaccordance with section 3(4)(l) of the National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No.27 of 1996), which empowers the Minister to determine national policy for curriculumframeworks, core syllabuses and education programmes.

(2) The recovery of Annual Teaching Plans (ATPs) released through Circular S13 of2021, aimed at supporting the recovery of learning and ensuring authentic deeplearning, remain the official teaching plans for all grades (R-12). These are accessibleon the website of the Department of Basic Education, through the following link:

Home schooling

  • Understanding Home Education
  • Home Education Policy

Learner Support Programmes

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) together with provinces has prepared online and broadcast support resources comprising subject content and a focus on Grade 12 learners and the promotion of reading for all the grades.

The department is working closely with key Partners to coordinate and make available content tailored to support our learners’ educational and health needs during this time.

(Video) South African government says it's ready to act: Coronavirus

The DBE website has been updated with current and relevant content inclusive of reading resources and websites. Other content which is available on websites of our partners has also been made available through links on the DBE website on

Basic Education and SABC launch Coronavirus COVID-19 TV and radio curriculum support programmes for learners

The Department of Basic Education and SABC have launched a multi-media learner support initiative under the banner: COVID-19 Learner Support aimed at limiting the impact of the lockdown to the school calendar.

The programme is scheduled to start on 9 April 2020 and will broadcast across three SABC TV Channels and 13 Radio stations with online support.

The TV Schedule is as follows:

SABC 1: Mon - Sun 05h00 - 06h00
SABC 2: Mon - Fri and 09h30 -11h00
SABC 3: Mon - Fri 06h00 - 07h00

The FREE STEM Lockdown Digital School has expanded into community television in order to reach an even bigger audience. Starting, 21 April 2020, the COVID-19 learner support programme will be available on two DSTV channels; 1KZN (261) and Soweto TV (251) to increase access. The school is supporting learners who are learning from home because of the coronavirus which resulted in the lockdown which started on March 26.

The radio slots

May/June exam rewrites

The 2021 May / June examination is the second examination opportunity that is offered to candidates who wrote the November 2020 examinations and is also an examination for adult candidates sitting for matric examinations. The writing of this examination commenced on Wednesday, 26 May 2021, and concluded on Wednesday, 07 July 2021.

Western Cape Education Department

    Universities and further education institutions

    Statementby Minister Blade Nzimande on plans for the post school education and training institutions on the Coronavirus COVID-19 adjusted level 4 lockdown with effect from 28 June 2021, 30June2021

    Statement by Minister Blade Nzimande on the Covid 19 vaccination roll out plan for the post school education and training sector, 23 July 2021

    Return to Residences

    Within the national guidelines to be published by the Department, plans for the return of students to residences will be determined at institutional level, in line with numbers that can be accommodated to enable physical distancing, the handling of communal spaces, hygiene requirements and dining hall arrangements.

    Students identified to reintegrate into campuses may include specific groups of students who are living with disabilities, who are not able to access connectivity where they live, or are living in circumstances where studying is difficult. In terms of the phase-in plans, the maximum % per residence identified for the level (Level 3 - 33%; Level 2 - 66%) must be adhered to and all health and safety protocols must be in place. Students who live in private rented accommodation close to campuses may also return provided physical distancing arrangements are in place.

    TVET colleges

    (Video) South African government is on high alert this afternoon: Coronavirus

    For TVET Colleges, a tentative academic calendar has been drawn up pending any new announcements on the different levels of the lockdown by the President. In terms of the tentative calendar the following return dates apply:

    NATED Trimester(Natural Science)students

    • All programmes: 20 May - 22 July
    • N5 & N2: 15 June
    • N4 & N1: 22 June

    NATED Semester (BUSINESS STUDIES) students

    • N6: 14 July - 17 September
    • N5: 29 June14 July - 17 September
    • N4: 06 July14 July - 17 September

    NC(V) students

    • Level 4: 8July - 17 September
    • Level 3: 8July8July - 17 September
    • Level 2: 8July8July - 17 September

    A campus-based approach will be applied where colleges are affected by different lockdown levels.

    Several colleges have already developed learning materials both for TV and radio broadcasts which are shared through the DHET website. These initiatives will continue beyond the return of students to campuses. Furthermore,all students whowill not have returned tocampuses in June and July will also be supportedremotely until they return to campus according to the phase-in process.

    Colleges are using textbooks, e-Guides, past question papers, and uploaded YouTube videos to assist students. These are supported through bulk text messages from colleges and WhatsApp groups set up by lecturers.

    2021academic year

    The vaccination of PSET staff of 35 years of age and above

    HigherHealthhas made provisions with each site fully dedicated to vaccinate about 300 to 1000 people per day per site.

    HigherHealth will be supporting the sites on the days of vaccination.

    HigherHealth with the Department of Health and service providers will further open twelve (12) additional sites across Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town, Gqeberha and eThekwini starting from Monday, 26 July.

    This will cover over 120 000 staff from universities, TVETs and CET colleges in the next 2-3 weeks.

    These same sites will be extended to private institutions, skills learning sector, Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), National Skills Fund (NSF) with a range of skills development providers.

    Learner Support

    A process is underway to upload previous examination papers for students to work through in preparation for examinations. Colleges will be informedon how students can access these examination question papers.

    NSFAS COVID-19 contingency plan and disbursements


    Covid-19 Curriculum Support Programme for Grade 12 Learners on radio

    (Video) Back to normality in South Africa as Covid cases fall - BBC News

    Advice to parents


    What are the new government guidelines for COVID-19? ›

    You should: try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days. avoiding meeting people at higher risk from COVID-19 for 10 days, especially if their immune system means they're at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, even if they've had a COVID-19 vaccine.

    When did COVID-19 start in South Africa? ›

    This morning, Thursday March 5, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive. The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on March 1, 2020.

    How did COVID-19 affect South Africans? ›

    The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic denied many South Africans their right to adequate food as enshrined in the South African constitution, and undermined the efforts that have been made to meet the National Development Plan's goals and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of “Zero hunger” by 2030.

    How many days can you be absent from school in South Africa? ›

    * A learner's record will be cancelled in the class register if he or she is absent from school for 10 consecutive school days without a valid reason. suspended by the governing body or expelled by the Head of Department if, after a fair hearing, he or she is found guilty of misconduct”.

    Can you go to school with Covid 2022? ›

    Your child should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and they either: have a high temperature. do not feel well enough to go to school, college or childcare, or do their normal activities.

    Can you catch Covid twice? ›

    Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again. After recovering from COVID-19, most individuals will have some protection from repeat infections. However, reinfections do occur after COVID-19.


    1. Coronavirus in South African Universities
    2. Coronavirus: Why South Africa is coming out of lockdown - BBC Newsnight
    (BBC Newsnight)
    3. COVID-19: What happens when coronavirus hits Africa?
    (Sky News)
    4. South Africa's healthcare system threatened by coronavirus crisis
    (Al Jazeera English)
    5. COVID-19: South African Government Eases Restrictions | Network Africa 13/09/2021
    (Channels Television)
    6. Infodemic: Coronavirus and the fake news pandemic
    (nature video)

    Top Articles

    Latest Posts

    Article information

    Author: Reed Wilderman

    Last Updated: 12/05/2022

    Views: 5978

    Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

    Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Reed Wilderman

    Birthday: 1992-06-14

    Address: 998 Estell Village, Lake Oscarberg, SD 48713-6877

    Phone: +21813267449721

    Job: Technology Engineer

    Hobby: Swimming, Do it yourself, Beekeeping, Lapidary, Cosplaying, Hiking, Graffiti

    Introduction: My name is Reed Wilderman, I am a faithful, bright, lucky, adventurous, lively, rich, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.