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- South African airlines are dropping penalty fees for tickets cancelled at the last minute.
- This follows government’s decision to impose Adjusted Alert Level 4 lockdown which prohibits leisure travel to and from Gauteng.
- Airlines say they’re experiencing a surge in queries following the president’s Sunday-night address.
- FlySafair, Kulula, and Airlink are directing passengers to permits which allow for work-related travel, attending a funeral and caring for an immediate family member.
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The ban on leisure travel to and from Gauteng has left South African airlines scrambling to adjust their flight cancellation policies, with many scrapping penalties fees for last-minute changes.
Under Adjusted Alert Level 4 lockdown, which came into effect on Monday and is expected to last for at least two weeks, Gauteng, as the hotspot of South Africa’s Covid-19 outbreak, is subjected harsher restrictions.
In addition to the prohibition of alcohol, banning of all social gatherings and stricter hours of curfew – imposed on all provinces in South Africa – the movement of people to and from Gauteng will now also be regulated. A ban on leisure travel is intended to contain the spread of Covid-19 to Gauteng, which already accounts for more than 60% of the country’s active caseload, and impacts visitors to the province as well as those looking to journey from it.
People travelling for work, to attend a funeral or returning home are exempt from the ban but must possess a permit signed by a magistrate or police station commander. School pupils and travellers-in-transit are also afforded a reprieve although the gazetted regulations are unclear as to what permits are required to authorise travel.
Anybody found to be in contravention of these regulations – by travelling into or out of Gauteng without permission – can be fined or jailed….