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What the lockdown means for public transport and air travel
From minibus taxis to trains and e-hailing services
Last updated: 2 April
In accordance with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to curb the spread of COVID-19, which includes a nationwide lockdown, transport minister Fikile Mbalula announced on March 25 that all forms of public transport will be limited for the duration of the lockdown. He added that all international and domestic flights are prohibited. On 2 April, the City of Cape Town released a statement about these restrcitions being eased.
All commuter rail services will remain shut down, as well as long-distance trains and buses. The 21-day lockdown, from midnight on Thursday 26 March to 16 April, is aimed at flattening the curve. Find out what we know so far about the nationwide lockdown.
MINIBUS TAXIS MAY NOW RUN AT 100% CAPACITY IF PASSENGERS WEAR MASKS
According to the City of Cape Town statement:
- Minibus-taxis are now permitted to transport 70% of their passenger capacity: those licensed to transport 10 are now limited to 7 passengers; those licensed to transport 15 are now limited to 10 passengers; a midi-bus licensed to transport 22 passengers is limited to 15 passengers.
- The vehicle capacity can be increased to 100% if all passengers, inclusive of the driver, are wearing surgical masks or N95 respiratory masks as per the directives gazetted
- As from Saturday, 4 April 2020, during the morning peak-hour period, minibus-taxi drivers will be allowed to travel to the pick-up points as from 04:00, but may only start loading passengers at 05:00. All passengers must be offloaded by 11:00, and no passengers may board the taxi after 10:00.
- Also, as from Saturday, 4 April 2020, during the afternoon peak-hour period, drivers will be allowed to travel to the pick-up points as from 15:00, but may only start loading passengers at 16:00. All passengers must be offloaded by 21:00, and no passengers may board the taxi after 20:00.
THE MYCITI BUS IS RUNNING A LIMITED SERVICE
The MyCiti bus is also running a limited service. The City of Cape Town website lists the following restrictions:
- No standing is allowed on buses.
- Buses are allowed to transport half (50%) of its passenger capacity: 18m buses can transport 59 people, inclusive of the driver; the 12m Volvo buses 43, inclusive of the driver; the 12m Scania buses 48, inclusive of the driver; and the 9m buses are allowed to transport 25 people, inclusive of the driver.
- The service is currently operating according to the Sunday service schedule to transport residents who need to collect their social grants.
- As from Saturday, 4 April 2020, the service will operate from 05:00 to 10:00 and again from 16:00 to 20:00 daily, in line with the regulations relating to the national state of disaster.
- All bus drivers have been issued with masks and gloves.
- Passengers who board at a bus stop can use the hand sanitiser that is placed next to the validators at the left hand door.
- Passengers boarding at stations should use the sanitiser that is available at these facilities.
- We also request passengers to please travel with their own hand sanitiser as well, and to wash their hands as often as possible with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Buses and stations are cleaned regularly in line with COVID-19 requirements.
Commuters are being urged to avoid unneccessary trips and only use the bus if they need to go shopping for food, access healthcare, or collect social grants.
E-HAILING SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE FOR ESSENTIAL SERVICES ONLY
The City of Cape Town lists the following restrictions:
- As from Saturday, 4 April 2020, operators may only transport passengers from 05:00 to 10:00 and again from 16:00 to 20:00 daily, in line with the regulations relating to the national state of disaster.
- A vehicle licensed to transport four passengers is limited to carrying 50% of their permissible passenger carrying capacity – thus, only two passengers are allowed in the vehicle.
GOLDEN ARROW BUSES HAVE STRICT HYGEUINE PROTOCOLS
Golden Arrow Bus Service is providing transport services to essential services workers and those who need to access essential services. Drivers have been issued with gloves, masks and hand sanitiser, and buses are regularly santised.
LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED
Mbalula also stated that during the lockdown period “all commercial passenger flights will be cancelled, irrespective of the risk category of the country of origin”.
SAA IS OFFERING PASSENGERS THE OPTION TO DEFER TRAVEL
SAA apologizes for the inconvenience caused as a result of the suspension of flights. We trust that our customers and stakeholders will appreciate that these decisions are meant for the national benefit. Read more: https://t.co/GHYqOQW79g #FlySAA https://t.co/GHYqOQW79g #FlySAA pic.twitter.com/cbtICcEziK— SAA - South Africa (@flysaa) March 24, 2020
FLYSAFAIR HAS CANCELLED ALL FLIGHTS UNTIL 20 APRIL
FlySafair acknowledges and completely supports the announcements made by the President tonight.— FlySafair (@FlySafair) March 23, 2020
As such we will be suspending all flights between 26 March and 20 April 2020.
We are working to put the necessary procedures in place to look after our customers and our teams. pic.twitter.com/AeDjKeGzF7
COMAIR HAS SUSPENDED ALL BRITISH AIRWAYS AND KULULA FLIGHTS UNTIL 19 APRIL
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STAY UP TO DATE ON ALL THINGS CORONAVIRUS-RELATED
The situation is ever-changing and our team is committed to bringing you all the latest updates on COVID-19 in Cape Town. Find out which places have closed and get notified when they reopen. Keep tabs on the governmental restrictions in place. And treat yourself to some moments of joy we have found during these challenging times. Check the list of public facilities closed by the City of Cape Town. Find out about the restrictions on the sale of liquor during the coronavirus outbreak.
YOU CAN STILL LIVE A LITTLE
You might have cancelled many plans, but there’s still plenty to do to keep yourself entertained this weekend. Use this social distancing period to work on your cooking skills with our homely, classic Cape Town recipes. And whether you have toddlers, tweens, or teens to entertain, there are loads of things to do with kids during lockdown.
SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES
Maybe your livelihood is unaffected, but not everyone is so lucky. With trading restrictions, social distancing, and event cancellations, many small local businesses are taking a huge hit. Order takeouts, buy online, donate, and try not to cancel any payments you can afford. The economy is under strain, but together we can keep many people afloat. Find out how you can support local businesses.