Everything you need to know about flying under lockdown level 3

02 June 2020 - 18:24 By TimesLIVE
A list of rules for flying during level 3 has been gazetted by transport minister Fikile Mbalula.
A list of rules for flying during level 3 has been gazetted by transport minister Fikile Mbalula.
Image: 123RF / Martinkay78

Arrive two hours early, get dropped off or use public transport, get your bags wrapped and do not take off your mask at any point.

These are among the new rules for flying under level 3 of lockdown. Transport minister Fikile Mbalula announced at the weekend that new gazetted regulations allow domestic flights for work-related purposes only.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Airports Company SA (Acsa) said the airport environment had “changed considerably”. New procedures would take time, said spokesperson Gopolang Peme, and passengers “should arrive at the airport at least two hours before the scheduled departure”.

Peme said that Acsa had put “extensive” and “comprehensive” measures in place to “cover every aspect of the passenger’s journey, from an airport entrance to boarding an aircraft”.

OR Tambo International, Cape Town International and King Shaka International opened this week, with other domestic airports set to be opened in phases soon.

These are the rules provided on Tuesday:

Arriving at the airport

  • Passengers must use drop-and-go facilities or public transport as only passengers will be allowed into the terminal;
  • Limited parkade options will be available. These are signposted at each airport;
  • "Meeters and greeters" will not be allowed in the terminal building; and
  • Baggage wrapping is now compulsory for all check-in luggage for hygiene reasons.

Airport entrances and access control

  • A number of access points have been closed at each airport - visit the Airports Company website for details on which access points and terminal entrance points should be used;
  • Access to terminal buildings will therefore be restricted;
  • Physical distancing rules will apply at the terminal entrance;
  • Masks are compulsory from entry to the airport all the way through a flight and out of the destination airport;
  • Port Health will conduct screening checks at entrances;
  • Passengers must produce their business travel permission letters at the entrance; and
  • It is the passenger’s responsibility to ensure that they have the necessary permission letter before they book a flight.

Check-in process

  • Passengers should check in online before going to the airport;
  • Online check-in can be done at the screens in the terminal building;
  • A limited number of check-in counters will be open and physical distancing rules will apply in these queues; and
  • Using a check-in counter will take longer.

Security checkpoint process

  • Passengers will scan their own paper-based or mobile device-based boarding pass to the scanner at the security checkpoint;
  • Passengers should remove any metal and electronic items from their person before entering the security queue. This includes mobile devices, watches, jewellery, wallets, keys and so on;
  • These items must be placed in the tray at the security scanner; and
  • This process will minimise the need for security officers to conduct physical pat downs at the checkpoint.

Boarding the aircraft

  • Physical distancing rules apply for queues to board an aircraft;
  • Passengers must scan their own boarding pass at the boarding gate;
  • Boarding will be done in a controlled manner with passengers travelling in the rear seats of the aircraft boarding first. Passengers with tickets for Row A, for example, will board last; and
  • Masks must be worn for the duration of the flight.

Disembarking from an aircraft

  • Masks must continue to be used when disembarking and moving towards the baggage carousels;
  • Physical distancing rules will apply at the baggage carousels; and
  • Crowding close to the baggage carousels will not be permitted.