WESTERN CAPE NEWS - This afternoon, Monday 7 December, Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier and I visited Cape Town International Airport for an update on the Covid-19 safety measures they have put in place ahead of the tourism season.
I was pleased to hear from the airport management that the domestic market is growing, and that more international flights are starting to return to the market.
To ensure the highest safety standards and to ensure protocols are adhered to, the airport has introduced body temperature scanners, Covid-19 monitors who move around the airport helping with compliance, and measures to reduce contact throughout the airport check-in process.
They have also now introduced antigen testing.
All international travelers must arrive in the country with a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours old. However, if for some reason a person arrives without this test or documentation, the traveler will be taken to an isolation bay, where an antigen test will be administered.
This is not meant to replace the PCR test but provides an extra layer of security in outlier cases where a traveler may arrive without one.
The test is quick to perform and results are available within a 30 minute period. The test is SAHPRA approved and has undergone their rigorous approval processes.
Deon Cloete, general manager of Cape Town International Airport said: "We have a number of Covid-19 safety protocols in place which are strictly adhered to. Our aim is to ensure the safety of all airport users including our staff. We have seen a steady increase in passenger movement which is a good sign. We are committed to playing our part in making sure that people safely navigate the airport."
Over the festive season, many people will be undertaking interprovincial travel, either by air, or road travel and it is critical that we all play our part to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Earlier today, Minister of Transport and Public Works, Bonginkosi Madikizela conducted oversight visits to various taxi ranks and bus stops around the city, to measure safety compliance. Minister Madikizela has expressed concern at the number of passengers, operators and drivers he encountered on public transport who were not wearing masks and not following proper protocols.
If we are to avoid any further restrictions, we must ensure each and every one of us changes our behaviour.
By following some simple protocols, and safety tips while traveling, you can ensure that you are able to navigate this festive season safely:
- Do not travel if you feel ill or are experiencing symptoms such as a sore throat, loss of taste or smell, body aches or fever.
- Always wear your mask whenever traveling- whether you are going through an airport, traveling by bus or in a taxi.
- While waiting in queues, ensure that there is 1.5 metres of space between yourself and any other person.
- Wash or sanitize your hands before boarding a bus, plane or taxi.
- If traveling by car, bus or taxi, ensure that the windows are open to allow fresh air to circulate.
- To report non-compliance on public transport- dial *134*234#
Update on the coronavirus in the Western Cape:
As of 1pm on 7 December, the Western Cape has 15 423 active Covid-19 infections with a total of 140 365 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 120 128 recoveries.
Unallocated: 3 381 (2 094 recovered)
* It is not always possible to check and verify that the address data supplied for each new recorded case is correct, within the time frames required to provide regular and timely updates. This means that in some instances, cases could be allocated to the wrong sub-districts. We are working with the sub-districts to clean and verify the data and where errors are picked up locally, cases will be re-allocated to the correct areas.
The Western Cape has recorded 25 additional deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 4 818.
We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time.
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