Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, has given the Cape Town International Airport the thumbs up for its COVID-19 health and safety protocols ahead of the festive season. This comes as the airport reports a significant increase in domestic travellers.
Increased numbers of international visitors are also expected in the coming weeks. Touchless technology which includes thermal temperature screening and aggressive COVID-19 messaging throughout the airport, are some of the measures in place.
The Western Cape has seen a resurgence of infections, with currently more than 12 000 active cases.
The airport is busier than it has been in months as domestic travel booms ahead of the festive season.
Airport management says while international arrivals have been relatively low, it is optimistic that figures will soon pick up as new airlines come on board in the next few weeks.
This is despite a rise in COVID-19 infections in the Western Cape, particularly in the Garden Route, Overberg, and Cape Metro.
“We’ve worked very hard on the innovation elements in terms of looking at touchless type solutions whether it is at immigration or elsewhere and we also have with the Department of Health capability in terms of testing capability for COVID testing and how that assists in processing passengers,” says Cape Town International Airport General Manage Deon Cloete.
Winde has inspected the safety and COVID-19 protocols at the airport, as well as the health and safety measures at the airport’s isolation facility.
It can also do rapid COVID testing if necessary.
Winde visits Cape Town International Airport:
Winde says while the province desperately needs the tourism industry to bolster the pandemic-ravaged economy, protocols to ensure public safety must be in place at all times.
“I’ve asked the president for the regulatory environment of the disaster declaration that they have a look at more stringent consequences, fines, etc. and you would have also seen in the city, in the Garden Route, that we are using law enforcement a lot more and that is SAPS, law enforcement right down to neighbourhood watches, anywhere where people are able to step in when people are not following the rules.”
Winde says he has submitted a detailed document to the president on what the province is doing to flatten the curve in a bid to prevent harsher restrictions like those implemented in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
He has reiterated that it is critical for every citizen or visitor to take the responsibility to adhere to the necessary protocols.
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