Department of Transport gives ORTIA the green light

Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula inspected OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on June 3, 2020 to determine its readiness to resume flight operations as permitted under Level 3 of South Africa’s COVID-19 Risk Adjusted Strategy. 

He explained that in Phase 1, commercial aircrafts were permitted to operate out of OR Tambo, Cape Town, King Shaka and Lanseria International Airports. In Phase 2, commercial operations will resume at Kruger Mpumalanga, Polokwane and Bram Fischer airports, followed by Kimberley, Upington, East London, Umtata and Port Elizabeth in Phase 3. 

In line with the reintroduction of limited domestic air travel, only passengers will be allowed inside the terminal buildings, where temperature screening will be conducted at the terminal entrances where business travel permission letters will also be checked. No passengers will be allowed inside the terminal buildings without masks. 

All airports will have markings on the floor for social distancing of 1.5 metres at check-in counters, security checkpoints and airport lounges. All check-in agents will wear face shields and the counters will be installed with protective screens, but passengers are encouraged to use self-check in. Baggage wrapping is now compulsory for all check-in luggage. 

Inside aircraft cabins, full capacity will be allowed – with the Minister stating that the risk of COVID-19 infection on board a commercial passenger airliner being lower than many other confined spaces. On board, no catering or magazines will be allowed, and the last row will be reserved for isolation of suspected cases. All passengers must continue to wear their masks throughout their journey.