COVID-19 Alert Level 1 travel under the spotlight

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12 Oct 2020

Passengers on aircraft are required to wear face masks at all times and can only remove them during emergencies or when instructed by cabin crew to do so.

The transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, confirmed this in a statement on COVID-19 Alert Level 1 regional and international travel.

The minister clarified that airlines operating international flights are required to submit procedures that show the level of compliance with South African COVID-19 legislation for approval to the South African Civil Aviation Authority.

No passengers are allowed to board without a valid negative Polymerase Chain Reaction or a valid COVID-19 negative test certificate.

If passengers fail 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 will be quarantined at a government designated facility at his or her own cost.

As regards international travel out of South Africa, passengers must provide to the airline a negative PCR test certificate or a valid COVID-19 negative test certificate from an accredited laboratory.

In terms of road transport, mini-buses, midi-buses and buses are only permitted to carry a maximum of 70% of their licensed passenger carrying capacity when undertaking long distance travel while, as regards short-distance public transport of 200km or less, vehicles can carry 100% of their maximum license passenger capacity.

Meanwhile, the national council of provinces has called for comment on the Airports Company Amendment Bill and the Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company Amendment Bill.

Both bills were passed by the national assembly (NA) and sent to the NCOP for concurrence in March 2020.

The bills were tabled in 2018 and lapsed in May 2019 but were revived by the NA at the end of October 2019.

During deliberations on the Airports Company Amendment Bill, the portfolio committee on transport realized that other provisions of the principal act, not included in the bill, needed to be amended.

The new amendments proposed a new clause, amending section 2 of the principal act, that seeks to legislate the operational effects of the Companies Act of 2008 on the classification of the Airports Company as a state-owned company. The amendments further seek to align the act to the current provisions in the Public Service Act of 1994 with regard to persons excluded from service as non-executive directors of the Company.

As regards the Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company Amendment Bill, the portfolio committee on transport introduced an amendment to the bill stipulating that the company is classified as a state-owned company from the date of commencement of the Companies Act.

The select committee on transport, public service and administration, public works and infrastructure seeks comment on both bills until 26 October 2020.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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