(Updated 30 March 2022) No, UCT has not adopted a mandatory vaccination policy. Every staff member and student is strongly encouraged to get vaccinated including all booster shots. The science is very clear. Vaccination prevents serious disease and death.
As per the Section 8 of the Government Gazette released on 15 February 2022, employers may be required to gather information about persons who are vaccinated or not. Should this become mandatory, you will be notified through a Campus Announcement.
(Updated 30 March 2022) UCT has taken all reasonably practicable risk mitigation measures to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
UCT will continue to follow the necessary and prescribed regulatory guidelines and protocols as published from time to time by the respective national ministries.
In managing the COVID-19 pandemic and working in partnership with colleagues, you may not request a waiver of the ‘in-person’ requirement to return to work on the basis that a person is not vaccinated.
Given the current trajectory of the pandemic, you are still required to come to work irrespective of whether there are unvaccinated colleagues with whom you may come into contact. The most common COVID-19 variant that is being spread currently is the Omicron variant. It is recognised that this variant is more transmissible, and the vaccines are only 30 to 50% effective in preventing person to person transmission (although vaccines are very effective in preventing serious disease, hospitalisation and death). Even if a person is fully vaccinated, they can still contract COVID-19 and transmit the virus, although studies show this is less likely if one is fully vaccinated.
(Updated 30 March 2022) It is true that Omicron is more transmissible than other variants such as Delta. As mentioned above, the current data shows that the vaccines are less effective in preventing transmission of Omicron. However, vaccination reduces the severity of disease and hospitalisation, as well as reducing death rates. Even if a person has had COVID-19, studies show that a combination of natural immunity from infection together with immunity from vaccination greatly improves the immune response and decreases the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.
(Updated 30 March 2022) No, you do not need to complete the Daily Health Screening Questionnaire in order to access UCT campuses.
If you are feeling unwell and have symptoms including fever, tiredness, dry cough, aches and pains, blocked or running nose, sore throat or diarrhoea, please be responsible and avoid coming onto campus.
Should the Daily Screening requirements change, you will be notified through a campus announcement.
(Updated 30 March 2022) If you do not have any symptoms and test positive, you can enter campus but please take every precaution to ensure that you do not transmit the virus.
(Updated 29 June 2022) Since South Africa repealed COVID-19 regulations that made masks mandatory in indoor public spaces, as announced by Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla on 23 June 2022, you are no longer required by law to wear a mask on campus. If your personal preference is to continue to wear a mask, you are free to do so.
(Updated 29 June 2022) South Africa repealed COVID-19 regulations that made masks mandatory in indoor public spaces, limited the size of gatherings and imposed entry requirements at its borders, as announced by Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla on 23 June 2022. Social distancing is thus no longer mandatory, but we encourage you to keep your health and wellbeing in mind, and continue to use reasonable hygiene practices to keep yourself – and those around you – well.
(Updated 29 June 2022) Because South Africa repealed COVID-19 regulations, all of the previously mandated social distancing and hygiene protocols are no longer required by law. That said, we encourage you to keep your health and wellbeing in mind, and continue to use reasonable hygiene practices to keep yourself – and those around you – safe and well.
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COVID-19 is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March 2020 and to implement a national lockdown from 26 March 2020. UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.
Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, has in June 2022 repealed some of South Africa’s remaining COVID-19 regulations: namely, sections 16A, 16B and 16C of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions under the National Health Act. We are now no longer required to wear masks or limit gatherings. Venue restrictions and checks for travellers coming into South Africa have now also been removed.
“After almost a year of operation, the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, located at the Forest Hill residence complex in Mowbray, will close on Friday, 29 July 2022. I am extremely grateful and proud of all staff, students and everyone involved in this important project.”
– Vice-Chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng
With the closure of the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, if you still require access to a COVID-19 vaccination site please visit the CovidComms SA website to find an alternative.
UCT’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) collaborated with Global Citizen, speaking to trusted experts to dispel vaccine misinformation.
If you have further questions about the COVID-19 vaccine check out the FAQ produced by the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF). The DTHF has developed a dedicated chat function where you can ask your vaccine-related questions on the bottom right hand corner of the website.
“As a contact university, we look forward to readjusting our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in 2023 as the COVID-19 regulations have been repealed.”
– Prof Harsha Kathard, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning
We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.