Tourists won’t see the familiar Virgin tailplane on the apron at either OR Tambo or Cape Town International Airport any time soon. Virgin has just announced that its SA flights won’t be back until at least May, citing ongoing travel disruption. The UK will not allow entry of passenger flights from ‘red list’ countries, and South Africa is on that list.
Flights between JNB and LHR and CPT and LHR will remain suspended until May 16.
The carrier says because of limited operations on these routes, there are no reprotection options available, and the sectors will appear as UN. Flights from March 31 to May 16 have been updated in GDS systems, says Virgin.
The airline says it encourages agents with customers booked to travel to check the official Government advice for the UK and the destination before clients head to the airport. It also asks that agents ensure that the latest traveller contact information is available in the booking.
The new mandatory UK government testing requirements for all international arrivals to England, have been in place since February 15. Arrivals at LHR must have two PCR tests, on day 2 and day 8 of their 10-day quarantine. If arriving from a 'red list’ country (by means of a special exemption), passengers will need to quarantine in a government-approved hotel.
All international arrivals to the UK must complete the online Passenger Locator form before arriving at the departure airport. Virgin says the UK Government’s public health measures will be enforced using financial penalties.