The Blue Train suspends 2020 trips due to second wave
The Blue Train will suspend the rest of its 2020 journeys following the announcement by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize that the country is in its second wave of Covid-19 infections. The decision will affect the remaining four journeys scheduled for December 14th, 16th, 17th and 19th on the Pretoria – Cape Town route.
Lekhetho Mokoena, the Operations Manager at The Blue Train, said that the company has been "thorough and decisive in our operations to ensure that our guests and our crew are as safe as possible."
Mokoena said that due to the alerts from the national government that the country is entering the second wave of infections, and Gauteng and Western Cape being some of the provinces at the epicentre of increased cases, the company suspended services temporarily for the remainder of the year.
"This is a pre-emptive cautionary measure that will afford us the time and space to monitor the progression of infections without compromising the safety of our guests and crew.
“This was a tough decision to make, but we arrived at it after rigorous deliberations with our health and safety experts. We do not take this move lightly as it is a hard blow to the momentum we had gained since we resumed services in September, but it is necessary for the safety of our guests and crew. We apologise profusely for any inconvenience this decision will cause our guests who were looking forward to getting on board The Blue Train. We appreciate that this negatively impacts planned travel itineraries, and we have ensured that the reservations team is readily available to assist all guests as best as we can,” added Mokoena.
The Blue Train resumed operations in September when the country moved to lockdown level 2 with private charters. In November they resumed its leisure travel journeys. Services are expected to resume in January 2021.
Guests confirmed for travel on the affected days will be contacted by The Blue Train’s reservations team to arrange for postponements. The Covid-relevant cancellation policy will apply to affected guests, giving them more flexibility at no additional cost. Guests who are booked but are yet to pay and therefore are unconfirmed will incur applicable costs commensurate with the ticket cost as per the date of postponement.