Whether you’re a frequent flyer or just someone who enjoys the odd getaway, you’ll be pleased to learn that airports are finally starting to open their doors again in South Africa. After spending 10 weeks under various forms of lockdown, airlines are back in business – but things look very different from the ‘normal’ flights we once knew.
At Level 3 of lockdown, people are allowed to travel for business reasons only. Thousands of workers can now take flight providing they’ve got the necessary paperwork, and if they’re heading to one of four designated airports. The locations allowed to operate under Phase 1 of the plan include:
Fikile Mbalula has made an oversight visit to OR Tambo on Wednesday, to talk us all through how life in the terminals will look for the near future. Safety is paramount, but it all looks a bit… Black Mirror.
We thought we’d start with a cracker…
Minister of Transport |Mr Fix✔@MbalulaFikileForgot your PPE ? We have a vending machine here at the Airport. #LockdownSA1,3218:07 AM - Jun 3, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy
Forgot your PPE ? We have a vending machine here at the Airport. #LockdownSA
All baggage is required to be wrapped going into the aircraft. Throughout all airport entry points, there are designated baggage wrappers who can conceal your cases.
Going forward, all passengers must scan their own boarding passes at the e-gates, eliminating the need for human interaction. Security officers can come and help travellers, but only if absolutely necessary.
Distancing rules apply for queues to board an aircraft. All self-service terminals have an attendant who can help passengers sanitise before using electronic equipment. Gaps of 1.5 metres have been marked on the ground. Sitting areas must keep two clear spaces between each seat, as illustrated by a masked Fikile Mbalula:
Minister of Transport |Mr Fix✔@MbalulaFikileSocial distancing maintainance on seats at the Airport. #LockdownSA1978:27 AM - Jun 3, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy
Social distancing maintainance on seats at the Airport. #LockdownSA
All aircrafts are sprayed with disinfectanct before any new passengers board. Prior to take off, cleaning teams with initiate a rapid deep clean on-board the planes to ensure they remain disease free.
Flights will only be allowed to depart and land at selected airports, but also, passengers and airport staff are the only people allowed inside the terminal buildings. Therefore, no accompanying members of the public will be allowed inside the terminal buildings. Pick-ups and drivers must wait with their vehicles outside.
Passengers are advised to check-in online before going to the airport. Failing that, it’s advised that travellers make use of the self-service check-in screens within the airports. The amount of physical check-in desks will be dramatically reduced, and strict social distancing rules still apply.
Minister of Transport |Mr Fix✔@MbalulaFikileChecking in and boarding, you do self service. Green light you go - red, you stop and get assisted. #LockdownSA818:41 AM - Jun 3, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy
Checking in and boarding, you do self service. Green light you go - red, you stop and get assisted. #LockdownSA
Passengers must use drop-and-go facilities or public transport. No-one can hang about near the terminals. Limited parkade options – signposted at each airport – will be available for those who require them. Anyone entering an airport will have their temperature checked before being granted access to the building.
Masks are compulsory for all, from entering the airport, through your flight, and up until you leave the airport at your intended destination. Business travel letters must also be kept readily available. The Airports Company website will tell you which terminals and entry points are opened or closed.
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