Explainer: Impact of Level 3 shift on travel amid holiday season

Explainer: Impact of Level 3 shift on travel amid holiday season

- The festive season was in full swing when President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed SA on Monday night

- Many South Africans were either at their holiday destinations or set to leave

- The shift to Level 3 has seen numerous citizens concerned that the clampdown would negatively impact their journey

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has addressed SA following President Cyril Ramaphosa's speech on Monday evening.

With numerous South Africans on holiday or set to depart, concerns were raised over the impact on travel.

Dlamini-Zuma has announced that taxis and long-distance buses intended to travel 200km or more must operate only at 70% capacity, ensuring face masks are worn by everyone on board.

Mainstream

Minister Dlamini-Zuma hosted a briefing on the Covid-19 amended regulations. Image: Popow/ullstein bild
Source: Getty Images

Taxis that operate within cities are permitted to operate at 100% capacity, providing once again that masks are worn.

The newly-gazetted regulations stipulated that face masks are definitely non-negotiable:

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“A driver. owner or operator of public transport may not allow any member of the public who is not wearing a face mask to board or be conveyed in a public transport owned or operated by him or her."

While these restrictions have a more limited impact on this mode of transport, flights suffered a more hefty knock:

“Due to the reinstatement of adjusted Level 3 lockdown restrictions & newly imposed 9pm-6am daily curfew, there will be an impact on our flight schedule. Affected customers will be reaccommodated & contacted in due course. Thank you for your patience & understanding."

International travel remains permitted subjected to protocols with the regulations stipulating that:

“All international travel is permitted subject to the traveller providing a valid certificate of a negative test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel."

Should someone fail to submit a certificate, a test must be done on arrival at the traveller's own cost. In the event of someone testing positive, the traveller will be required to quarantine, again at their own cost.

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Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Ramaphosa said that the nation is now 'paying the price' for behaviour over the festive season that has seen over 50 000 new infections over the past few days alone.

Social gatherings, the consumption of alcohol and failure to follow non-pharmaceutical protocols were highlighted as the major drivers of the wave Hospitals are baulking under the pressure of both the pandemic and trauma patients, including motor vehicle accident victims.

Ramaphosa noted this strain as unnecessary, confirming that many hospitals are either operating at full capacity or filling up. The president commented that, in total, over 41 000 front-line workers had contracted the virus and are - simply put - exhausted.

Ramaphosa shifted South Africa to Level 3 with immediate effect as of Monday night at midnight.

All indoor and outdoor gatherings will now be banned for a period of 14 days from midnight with the exception of funerals and other limited exclusions, such as to museums and restaurants.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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