UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS MAY I TAKE A DOMESTIC FLIGHT UNDER ALERT LEVEL 3?

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Published: May 31, 2020

MAY I TAKE A DOMESTIC FLIGHT UNDER ALERT LEVEL 3?

 

According to the Department of Transport Air Services Amendment Direction of 30 May 2020, along with Min Mbalula’s statement of 29 June 2020:

 

Commercial domestic passenger flights may resume on 01 June 2020 subject to the following conditions:

  • Domestic passenger air travel is not permitted for recreational, leisure or tourism purposes.

 

Commercial aircraft movement will be allowed from these airports from 1 July 2020:

  • OR Tambo International Airport
  • Cape Town International Airport
  • King Shaka International Airport, and
  • Lanseria International Airport
  • Bram Fischer International Airport
  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
  • Pietermaritzburg Airport
  • Port Elizabeth International Airport
  • Richardsbay Airport
  • Skukuza Airport
  • Upington International Airport

 

The Air Services Directions require passengers to provide written authorisation or proof of travel, confirming the reasons for travel are not for recreational, leisure or tourism.

 

  • For any travel across provincial borders for work-related purposes, you are required to have a permit (Form 2 of Annexure A) issued by your employer. For more information, click here.
  • Travel between provinces is permitted under certain other circumstances, please click here for more information about travel between provinces and required documentation.
  • Airlines are also requesting that passengers complete a health questionnaire issued by the National Department of Health (available at the below links).
  • For more information about requirements for flights under Alert Level 3, you can follow these links –

Failure to produce written authorisation or proof of travel will result in automatic denial of travel.

For any travel across provincial borders for work-related purposes, you are required to have a permit (Form 2 of Annexure A) issued by your employer. For more information, click here.

The Air Services Directions require passengers to provide written authorisation or proof of travel, confirming the reasons for travel are not for recreational, leisure or tourism. This would likely mean an additional note from an employer confirming that travel is for work purposes.

Failure to produce such written authorisation or proof of travel will result in automatic denial of travel.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Domestic air travel for business purposes will be subject to restrictions on the number of flights per day.  The availability of port health services will also guide the scheduling of flights.  The resumption of domestic flights will be rolled out in phases.

 

AIRPORTS

Limited domestic air travel means that flights will only be allowed to depart and land at selected airports in a phased manner.

Only passengers will be allowed inside the terminal buildings.  Therefore, no accompanying members of the public will be allowed inside the terminal buildings.

Temperature screening will be conducted at the terminal building entrances before any passenger is allowed entry.

No passengers will be allowed inside the terminal buildings without masks.

At boarding gates, boarding will be staggered and prioritized in terms of the number of passengers to board.  Sectional boarding will be implemented to avoid unnecessary contact inside the aircraft.

Inside the cabin, full capacity will be allowed.  It must be noted that the risk of COVID-19 infection onboard a commercial passenger airliner is lower than in many other confined spaces.  All commercial aircraft in South Africa are fitted with the High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters.  These are manufactured to the same standard as those used in hospital operating theatres and industrial clean rooms, with the same efficacy of 99.97% in removing viruses.

While the total air supply inside the cabin is essentially sterile and particle-free, the biggest risk is if someone enters or remains in that environment, while unwell with a viral infection.  This risk will be mitigated through the adoption of effective sanitization and personal hygiene protocols.

The following measures will apply inside the cabin of the aircraft:

  • no catering will be allowed (this has been revised to allow for limited catering);
  • no magazines on board;
  • the last row will be reserved for isolation of suspected cases.

All aircraft must be disinfected before entering into service and after each flight;

Loading capacity for all airport buses must be limited to 70%.  These buses must be disinfected after off-loading.  Drivers, baggage handlers and ground handlers must be fully equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

On arrival, all passengers must be screened as they enter the terminal building.  Suspected cases must be referred to Port Health.

 

This information is as reflected in the Alert Level 3 Regulations published on 28 May 2020, the Minister of Transport’s media briefing on 29 July 2020, and the National Government’s Travel Information webpage, available here.

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