COVID-19 SAIPA Updates

COVID-19 Regulations applicable to Contact Tracing

06 April 2020

COVID-19 Regulations applicable to Contact Tracing
  • The National Department of Health shall develop and maintain a national database to enable the tracing of persons who are known or reasonably suspected to have come into contact with any person known or reasonably suspected to have contracted COVID-19.
  • The COVID-19 Tracing Database shall include all information considered necessary for the contact tracing process to be effective, including but not limited to:
    • the first name and surname, identity or passport numbers, residential address and other address where such person could be located, and cellular phone numbers of all persons who have been tested for COVID19;
    • the COVID-19 test results of all such persons; and
    • the details of the known or suspected contacts of any person who tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The information contained in the COVID-19 Tracing Database and any information obtained through this regulation is confidential and no person may disclose any information contained in the COVID-19 Tracing Database or any information obtained through this regulation unless authorised to do so and unless the disclosure is necessary for the purpose of addressing, preventing or combatting the spread of COVID-19.
  • Where any person is to be tested for COVID-19, the person taking the sample for purposes of testing must obtain as much of the following information as is available at the time of taking the sample—
    • the first name and surname, identity or passport number, residential address, and cellular phone numbers of the person tested; and
    • a copy or photograph of the passport, driver’s licence, identity card or identity book of the person tested, and promptly submit this information, along with any information it has regarding likely contacts of the person tested, to the Director-General of Health for inclusion in the COVID-19 Tracing Database.
  • The Director-General of Health may, in writing and without prior notice to the person concerned, direct an electronic communications service provider licensed under the Electronic Communications Act, 2005 (Act No. 36 of 2005) to provide him or her, for inclusion in the COVID-19 Tracing Database, with such information as that electronic communications service provider has available to it regarding—
    • the location or movements of any person known or reasonably suspected to have contracted COVID-19; and
    • the location or movements of any person known or reasonably suspected to have come into contact, during the period 5 March 2020 to the date on which the national state of disaster has lapsed or has been terminated, with a person suspected to have contracted COVID-19,  and the electronic communications service provider must promptly comply with the directive concerned.
  • The abovementioned information—
    • may only be obtained in relation to the location or movements of persons during the period 5 March 2020 to the date on which the national state of disaster has lapsed or has been terminated;
    • may only be obtained, used or disclosed by authorised persons and may only be obtained, used and disclosed when necessary for the purposes of addressing, preventing or combatting the spread of COVID-19 through the contact tracing process;
    • where relevant to the contact tracing process, must be included in the COVID-19 Tracing Database;
    • apart from what is included in the COVID-19 Tracing Database, may only be retained by the Director-General of Health for a period of six weeks after being obtained and shall thereafter be destroyed; and
    • the Director-General of Health or any other person are not entitled to intercept the contents of any electronic communication.
  • The Director-General of Health shall, within six weeks after the national state of disaster has lapsed, or has been terminated, notify every person whose information has been obtained in terms of this regulation that information regarding their location or movements was obtained.
  • Within six weeks after the national state of disaster has lapsed or has been terminated—
    • the information on the COVID-19 Tracing Database shall be de-identified;
    • the de-identified information on the COVID-19 Tracing Database shall be retained and used only for research, study and teaching purposes; and
    • all information on the COVID-19 Tracing Database which has not been de-identified shall be destroyed.
  • The Minister of Justice shall designate a retired judge who shall oversee the collection, handling and disposal of all information collected for purposes of this regulation and COVID-19 Tracing Database.