Some transport restrictions eased but not without rules

The East London Airport will be one of the last airports in the country to re-open domestic flights, minister of transport Fikile Mbalula said on Sunday.

FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: Minister of transport Fikile Mbalula announces the easing of certain restrictions regarding public transport as the country moves into level 3 of the national lockdown, during the pandemic
Picture: SEBABATSO MOSAMO

This announcement was made as part of the department of transport’s (DoT) explanation of updated regulations after the country’s move to level 3 on June 1.

With regards to air travel, Mbalula said limited domestic flights would be allowed subject to restrictions on the number of flights per day and reasons for travel.

Airports will be opened in three phases, starting with major airports like OR Tambo International and Cape Town International.

East London Airport falls under phase 3, along with Kimberly Airport, Upington Airport, Umtata Airport and Port Elizabeth Airport.

Strict safety measures will be implemented at all airports.

Passengers will have to undergo temperature screenings at each entrance and face masks will be compulsory.

Markers will be placed to indicate the appropriate social distancing of 1.5m.

In addition, no accompanying members of the public will be allowed into the terminal buildings.

The ban on passenger vessels and cruise liners will remain, with only cargo vessels allowed to call at SA ports.

The department is also working to ensure public transport continues to follow the required safety measures.

“With the increase in the number of people returning to work and learners and students returning to institutions of learning, long- distance public transport crossing provincial, metropolitan or district boundaries is permitted to operate,” said Mbalula.

He said public transport would be restricted to the following:

  • Persons undertaking work responsibilities or performing a service permitted under level 3, provided they are in possession of the requisite permit;
  • Persons moving to a new place of residence;
  • Persons caring for an immediate family member;
  • Pupils or students who have to commute to and from schools or institutions of higher learning during periods when the institutions are permitted to operate.
  • Attendance of funerals;
  • Transportation of mortal remains;
  • Obtaining medical treatment;
  • Persons returning to their place of residence from a quarantine or isolation facility;
  • Movement of children;
  • Members of Parliament performing oversight responsibilities.

The curfew on public transport will be lifted, but vehicles will have to continue adhering to capacity restrictions.

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