It has taken less than 24 hours for updated Level 1 regulations to come under fire – but here we are: Updates to flight laws and international travel were published in the Government Gazette on Monday, and they differ wildly from the speech given by Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday evening. Indeed, the new regulations published by COGTA have also been contradicted.

What’s the deal with airline food?

There’s a lot going on here. First and foremost, Cyril Ramaphosa explained that five airports would be open for international travel as of Monday. But the new update, signed off by Fikile Mbalula, brings this number down to three.

Following that, we’ve also got a new directive about food and drink onboard domestic flights: The Transport Minister is now saying that no meals or beverages can be served during domestic air travel in South Africa, apart from bottled water. Despite COVID-19 cases remaining relatively low in the country, airlines will have to remove their in-flight menus:

“Any operator conducting a domestic flight is not allowed to provide catering on-board the aircraft, except for the provision of bottled water. A passenger on a domestic flight is not allowed to eat onboard the aircraft.”

Level 1 latest: Changes to flight rules cause confusion

Ironically, these changes are giving us plenty of ‘food for thought’. In the days that follow a family meeting with President Ramaphosa, there are usually a few tweaks to his announcements – but glaring contradictions are few and far between. We’ve got a summary of all the confirmed changes here, and the outstanding issues that need to be addressed.

  • – Magazines can still be provided – but passengers CAN’T share them, and staff must dispose of the item after use.
  • – The only consumable item you can order on a domestic flight at Level 1 is bottled water.
  • – Long-haul flights CAN land during curfew hours, but domestic ones CAN NOT.
  • – Passengers who land during curfew hours MUST present their flight tickets to law enforcement officers if stopped.
  • – The Transport Ministry Gazette says international travel is only allowed from OR Tambo, Cape Town, and King Shaka.
  • – However, this clashes with the COGTA Gazette issued on Sunday, which adds Kruger and Lanseria to the list for Level 1. Clarity is needed to properly establish which airports are permitted to operate internationally.

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Presh JM Reporter

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