Travel regulations amended to allow SA’s final year medics to return to campus

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“Final year medical students registered at South African public universities” have been given permissions to travel and resume their 2020 academic year studies under COVID-19 lockdown level four, reports Pam Saxby for Legalbrief Policy Watch. This was confirmed in a ministerial directive gazetted and retrospectively effective from 8 May.

The directive provides for once-off travel to medical campuses at state universities until the end of this month – those campuses having apparently reopened on 11 May. The move is in line with higher education, science & technology minister Blade Nzimande’s 30 April media statement on government’s approach to addressing challenges facing the post-school education and training sector during the State of Disaster.

Among other things, the statement referred to “the controlled return of final year clinical training (for) medical students”, who will apparently be required to “directly assist” the Health Department with its “campaign” on “health management”. Strict social distancing and hygiene protocols will apply.

“In essence”, in its efforts to curb the spread of the virus the sector is “constrained by the … same challenges it seeks to address: poverty, inequality and unemployment”. This is according to the 30 March statement and a summary of ‘measures to phase out the lockdown and phase in strategic functions’ since posted on the Higher Education & Training Department website.

Full report on the Legalbrief Policy Watch site

Gazetted directive

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