Article by Khanyi Moshia
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the official national lockdown seven days ago as a means of containing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, that decision came with a few consequences like grounding all passenger flights and closing all borders. This has led to many foreign nationals being stuck in South Africa and not being able to go back home.
South African Airways (SAA) will gladly come to the rescue as its first passenger flight to repatriate German foreign nationals who were stuck in South Africa after the lockdown will leave on Friday, the 3rd of April 2020.
Thousands of foreign workers, students and tourists asked the government for help as they were left with no way to leave the country since the lockdown commenced. However, the government stated that passengers with flu-like symptoms or covid19 will not be allowed to board the plane and leave South Africa.
SAA’s business rescue practitioners have confirmed that they’re engaging and negotiating with various embassies and the relevant government departments, and they’re willing to provide repatriation charter flights to various international destinations.
These flights have already been approved by the government and they’ll be done in line with the health and safety provisions in disaster management regulations – meaning not everyone will qualify to leave.
Here’s what you need to know about these flights:
- Individuals who show flu-like symptoms or have tested positive for the Coronavirus will not be allowed to leave the country.
- These flights are meant to accommodate thousands of passengers who couldn’t leave South Africa due to the lockdown.
- These are not medical evacuation flights.
- All passengers will be subjected to the screening protocols prior to departure, as required by South African authorities and SAA’s policies.