Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has noted ongoing operations, which have facilitated the evacuation and repatriation of 13 783 passengers from the start of April.
In a statement on Saturday, the Minister noted the evacuation and repatriation operations at Gauteng’s O.R. Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport in Durban.
On Thursday, 9 April, President Ramaphosa announced a two-week extension of the previously announced 21-day national lockdown, which is part of efforts to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Through the three airports, the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has facilitated the evacuation and repatriation of 13 783 passengers from 1 – 18 April 2020.
O.R. Tambo International has facilitated the repatriation of 5 768 foreign nationals and the evacuation of 2 465 South Africans.
Cape Town International has facilitated the repatriation of 5 086 foreign nationals and the evacuation of 365 South Africans.
King Shaka International, meanwhile, has facilitated the repatriation of 50 foreign nationals and the evacuation of 49 South Africans.
The evacuation and repatriation flights were permitted in terms of the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs regulations, which allow foreign nationals stranded in South Africa to return to their respective countries and South Africans stranded abroad to come back home.
“Adherence to COVID-19 safety regulations and hygiene measures remained a priority in the evacuation and repatriation processes.
“Relevant stakeholders implemented the screening, testing, isolation and quarantine guidelines to ensure the safety of all involved,” said the Department of Transport.