Amended Directions to Combat the Spread of COVID-19 in Air Services

The Department of Transport has published amended Directions in Government Gazette 44124 in terms of Disaster Management Act Regulations.

South Africa’s domestic airlines have been given permission to provide pre-packaged catering to passengers. This was previously prohibited under stricter levels of lockdown. Passengers can now consume onboard meals and sip drinks, however the sharing of in-flight magazines remains prohibited.

The amendments also no longer explicitly require that international passengers to produce “a valid negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (“PCR”)] test certificate” but rather require only a valid negative test certificate. This suggests that, although international passengers must still produce a valid negative Covid-19 test certificate obtained not less than 72 hours prior to travel, they do not necessarily have to get a PCR test (provided the test they do get is recognised by the World Health Organization).

The amendments also provide that long-haul international flights departures and landings are permitted during the hours of curfew. Passengers departing or arriving on international flights during the hours of curfew may be required to present evidence of a valid boarding pass or flight ticket if stopped by South African law enforcement officers during curfew hours. Further, international flights carrying passengers are now permitted to arrive and depart from Lanseria International Airport and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.