Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula shared 10 compliance requirements relating to passengers who are venturing outside the country. Picture: Shamia Casiano/Pexels.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula shared 10 compliance requirements relating to passengers who are venturing outside the country. Picture: Shamia Casiano/Pexels.

9 things passengers need to know before they take a regional or international flight

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Oct 6, 2020

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As the country opened for international travel, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula shared 10 compliance requirements relating to passengers who are venturing outside the country.

Here are nine things flight passengers need to know:

Wear a mask at all times

Mbalula said the wearing of masks is mandatory.

"Passengers are required to wear face masks at all times and may only remove face masks during emergencies or when instructed by cabin crew to take them off, and must observe social distancing, ensure handwashing, and sanitise regularly, " he said.

Passengers with medical conditions need a medical certificate

He said a passenger who is unable to wear a face mask due to an underlying medical condition must submit a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner to the airline before departure.

Children under the age of two may be exempt from wearing a mask

Mbalula said a child under the age of two years may be exempted from wearing a face mask as masks can "restrict breathing for small children as their airways are smaller than older children and adults."

Passengers need to provide a negative Covid test

He said a passenger must provide the airline with a negative PCR test certificate or a valid Covid-19 negative test certificate obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel, from an accredited laboratory and in line with the World Health.

Immunity passport 101

He said an immunity passport, risk-free certificate or passport immunity in respect of Covid-19 is not acceptable.

Passengers with symptoms

Mbalula stressed that if a passenger is symptomatic, the necessary protocols of the Department of Health will be followed.

Quarantine

If a passenger fails to submit a certificate as proof of a negative PCR test certificate or a valid Covid-19 negative test certificate upon arrival in South Africa, the passenger shall be subjected to a compulsory quarantine at a government-designated facility as contemplated for in Health Directions, at his or her own cost

Travelling danger hotspots

International travel from countries listed as having a high Covid-19 infection and transmission rate is prohibited. He said the exception is for business travel, which may be allowed with the approval of the Cabinet member responsible for Home Affairs, in which case such passengers must comply with the stipulated requirements.

Passenger in transit

A passenger in transit must have a negative PCR test certificate or a valid Covid-19 negative test certificate obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel, from an accredited laboratory.

He said a passenger in transit who displays symptoms of Covid-19 must, upon arrival and under the direction of Ports Health, be taken through primary and secondary screening, including Covid-19 testing, where applicable and be quarantined, at own cost, if a positive test result is obtained. "In this case, all Department of Health protocols and Department of Transport guidelines must be adhered to, " said Mbalula.

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