Acsa intensifies measures to deal with COVID-19

This story was updated on March 10, 08h45.

Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) announced on March 7 that it had implemented intensified measures to deal with COVID-19 and reassured the public that plans to detect, manage and prevent the virus were in place in the company’s three international airports as well as other regional airports.

Acsa said its precautionary measures were in line with the standards set out by the World Health Organisation, the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the South African Civil Aviation Authority.

The measures include stricter protocols for international arrivals, immigration and transit areas as well as an isolation facility to be used if a traveller is suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms.

Acsa advises travellers to practise general hygiene tips provided by the authorities; safe respiratory hygiene (i.e. wearing masks) and to avoid direct contact with other travellers or airport staff. It has also placed hand sanitisers at various points around airports, increased the frequency of disinfection cleaning of high-contact surfaces and provided various forms of digital and printed resources that address COVID-19.

Botswana

Update: A statement from the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Botswana has issued a statement retracting its statements on self-quarantine.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness in Botswana said on March 6 it would enforce a mandatory 14-day period of self-quarantine for tourists coming to the country from COVID-19 affected countries at their hotels, inns, lodges or guest houses.

“Reference is made to our Savingram REF: MH 20/33 dated 6th March, 2020 in which the Ministry of Health and Wellness informed ...a decision to enforce mandatory self-quarantine of all arriving travellers from affected countries for a period of 14 consecutive days. The Ministry wishes to withdraw the correspondence with immediate effect.”

More cases, same group

In South Africa, four more people have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to seven. All seven people are from the group of 10 who travelled to Italy, says a Business Day article, following a media briefing by the Ministry of Health on March 9.

Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said they were not surprised at the new confirmed cases and were now focused on tracking all the contacts.

At the briefing, Mkhize said one of the group of 10 travellers had returned to London from Italy, and the government was still waiting for the test results from the last two members of the group who are in the country.

The travel industry is facing enormous upheaval, with the COVID-19 situation changing at a rapid pace. To keep you in the loop, Tourism Update has created a special section on its website with news and updates. If you have any relevant news, email us at newsdesk@nowmedia.co.za. This could be supplier policy changes, cancellations, etc. For immediate updates on product information, see Travelinfo.