Following the announcement by the President on Sunday evening that the country is moving back to adjusted Alert Level 4 COVID regulations for at least 14 days, with leisure travel in and out of Gauteng prohibited, the Flight Centre Travel Group has reassured travellers that international travel is still permitted, and they are ready to assist with any changes to domestic travel plans.
“We have received many queries regarding transiting through Gauteng, students returning to their place of residence or campus and international travel from the province,” says Andrew Stark, Managing Director of the Flight Centre Travel Group Middle East and Africa. “As the information stands currently, and outlined in the government gazette, passengers are allowed to travel internationally from Gauteng, or travel through Gauteng to their final destination. Of course, all protocols need to be strictly observed. In addition, even though travellers are allowed to travel to and from the airport during curfew, we can expect some changes to airline schedules over the coming weeks.”
Some hotel groups will choose to close for the next two weeks. All Sun International restaurants, casinos, hotels and resorts, notably the Sun City Resort, will temporarily close for the 14 days.
“City Lodge Hotel Group remains committed to adhere to all the requirements of the latest adjusted Lockdown Level 4,” said Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, chief operating officer, City Lodge Hotel Group. “All hotel general managers together with their teams are custodians of ensuring guest safety and therefore compliance to protocols continue to be the order of the day.”
The regulations had a number of implications for the Group’s hotel operations, detailed by Sangweni-Siddo, such as food and non-alcoholic beverages being available on a “collect and go” basis or delivered as room service with no food or beverages to be consumed in public hotel areas and restaurants to close by 20h00. Fitness and conference rooms will also be closed during Level 4.
The Flight Centre Travel Group highlights the key adjusted alert Level 4 lockdown regulations affecting travel for the next 14 days:
- Travel into and out of Gauteng is permitted only for work, for the transport of goods, for funerals or to return home – for essential purposes.
- Travellers can transit through Gauteng, as well as overnight in the province. Be sure to carry travel documents at all times.
- International travel is permitted. All the usual COVID-19 protocols will need to be observed. A negative COVID-19 test (not older than 72 hours) will need to be presented upon your return to South Africa.
- Travel between and within other provinces is allowed subject to curfew from 9pm to 4am.
- All gatherings are prohibited.
- Inhouse restaurants and dining facilities at hotels may only provide for off-site consumption of food and non-alcoholic beverages. Alcohol may not be sold.
International travel FAQs
The Group reports that the most enquiries they are dealing with since the announcement are still for international travel. Zanzibar and Maldives remain open to South Africans with minimal travel restrictions. Commonly asked questions are destinations’ entry and quarantine regulations as well as required travel documents.
Travellers can get the latest COVID travel restrictions worldwide in real-time by searching the newly revamped FCTG Travel News website as well as on the mobile apps of the group’s corporate brands, FCM and Corporate Traveller. Travellers are able to search destinations that are open for travel using a colour-coded map that easily identifies inbound and outbound travel restrictions, find out where COVID-19 testing sites are located and obtain information about quarantine rules.
Select travel documents and forms, such as business travel permits, can also be found on the Group’s website.
Customers are encouraged to contact their Flight Centre Travel Expert with any queries concerning their bookings.