Confusion reigns as new flight rules gazetted under level 1: No eating and drinking

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By Marchelle Abrahams Time of article published Mar 2, 2021

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Just as soon as updates to flight laws and international travel were published in the Government Gazette on Monday, many noticed the strange contradictions to what President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced in his televised speech on Sunday night.

The updated regulations are in stark contrast to Ramaphosa relaxing restrictions under level 1.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula had signed off the newly gazetted Disaster Management Act regulations, stipulating the following on domestic airlines:

  • Only consumables offered by on-board catering is limited to bottled water – airline menus are not allowed, including the sale of alcoholic drinks.
  • Passengers are not allowed to eat while aboard a domestic flight. Neither are they allowed to bring their own food onboard.
  • Complimentary in-flight magazines may not be shared among passengers and must be disposed of after each flight

While commenting on the updated regulations, Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair, said: “Not having catering during flight does steal from the experience somewhat.

“It’s also a revenue stream that we would love during this tough time, but at this stage, not offering catering is the just the right thing to do”.

Domestic and international flights will not be operating under the same rules.

International flights will be allowed to operate their inflight menus.

“An operator conducting an international flight is allowed to provide catering onboard the aircraft, provided that they take all risk mitigation, health and safety measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 including the provision of pre-packed meals,” says the gazette.

When it comes to curfew times, international travellers who arrive or depart from South Africa between midnight and 4am will be given a reprieve, unlike domestic flights that are permitted to operate within curfew.

International flights are permitted to operate during curfew but passengers aboard the flights need “to present evidence of a flight ticket when stopped by law enforcement officers during curfew hours”.

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Original Article Posted on IOL Travel