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SA airlines scramble to adjust flights amid Gauteng travel ban – scrapping penalty fees

(Photo by: Edwin Remsberg/VW PICS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

  • 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.
  •  For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

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….

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