Some Tips to Traveling Internationally Again During COVID Times | What to Expect When Flying Locally in South Africa This December
Photo Cred: Insurance Journal

Masks are mandatory, and it seems COVID-19 forms are not any more. Some airlines still serve food and some even allow you to use electronics while taking off! Here’s all you need to know about flying locally during lockdown in South Africa.


Johannesburg, South Africa (02 December 2020) – Many South Africans will be taking to the skies this December as they make their way to holiday destinations but what does that mean as a passenger and what can you expect while flying locally during lockdown?

Air travel, by its very nature, puts people in close physical proximity of strangers, which can increase your chances of contracting any contagious disease. The same is true of travel in buses and taxis or visiting shopping malls and other busy places.

I have been on several business trips over the past week, and have had the opportunity to fly through a few airports while using different airlines. Many have similarities, while there are some differences.

Some airlines still serve food, while others use flight attendants to police mask-wearing, and some even allow you to use electronics while taking off! Here’s all you need to know about local flights during lockdown in South Africa.

Which airports are operating?

  • ​O.R. Tambo International Airport
  • Lanseria International Airport
  • Cape Town International Airport
  • King Shaka International Airport
  • Pietermaritzburg Airport
  • Bram Fischer International Airport
  • East London Airport
  • George Airport
  • Kimberley Airport
  • Port Elizabeth International Airport
  • ​Upington International Airport

Which restaurants and shops are open?

O.R. Tambo International Airport:

  • Vida Café
  • Pizza Express
  • Woolworths
  • Coffee & Cream
  • Chicken Licken
  • Cosmic Candy
  • Junxion Pharmacy
  • FNB
  • Standard Bank
  • Nedbank

King Shaka International Airport:

  • Fego
  • Woolworths
  • Steers

Cape Town International Airport:

  • Mugg & Bean
  • Woolworths
  • Vida
  • Cosmic Candy
  • Steers

Will screening be done on all flights?

Passengers are screened upon entering the terminal building. Passengers must wear a mask to be permitted inside the terminal building. Passengers who have a temperature higher than 38 degrees, will not be permitted to enter the airport. Passengers are asked to ensure they adhere to physical distancing of 1.5meters.

“All persons entering the precinct of the airport are temperature and visually screened. With us resuming operations, we have restricted the access points to the airport and have deployed screeners at these points. We will also be using purposely procured screening equipment. Port Health which is a division of the Department of Health has sufficient equipment to carry out passenger screening at the airports. As the airports become busier, we have targeted solutions that will be implemented to handle the higher capacity. At this time, we have sufficient equipment.” – Airports Company South Africa

Only passengers are permitted inside the terminal buildings currently.

How many hours before departure must a passenger be at the airport?

Passengers must be at the airport at least two hours for domestic flights to ensure enough time is allocated for screening and operational procedures.

International travel: Passengers must be at the airport at least four hours for domestic flights to ensure enough time is allocated for screening and operational procedures.


Masks need to be worn in all airports and on all airlines. Some airlines offer certain exemptions, including when people are eating or drinking.

Passengers must have a mask to be permitted inside the terminal building. Masks will also be sold at vending machines within the airport building


Hand sanitisers have been made available at strategic passenger journey touchpoints throughout the terminals. Soap is also provided in all bathroom facilities. Hand sanitizers have been made available throughout the entire terminal building.

COVID-19 Forms

Forms were needed at O.R. Tambo International Airport on the 24th of November but by the 27th of November were no longer needed. Flying out of Cape Town International Airport on the 30th of November and out of Lanseria International Airport on the 2nd of December did not require forms either.


Passengers are encouraged to use online check-in to minimise touching of personal identity documents. Security will also request that passengers scan their boarding cards.


All the airlines manage disembarkment the same escorting passengers off the plane row by row. If the aeroplane has rear doors, then both the front and back rows leave simultaneously until the entire aircraft is empty.

Food and Drinks

  • Airlink serve Food and Drinks.
  • Mango serve Food and Drinks
  • FlySafair DO NOT serve Food and Drinks but you can bring your own on board as long as it is not alcohol.


  • FlySafair allows electronics to be on throughout the flight – even on take-off and landing.
  • Airlink allows electronics only while in flight.
  • Mango allows electronics only while in flight.

We have contacted Kulula, Lift and SAA and will update the information when we receive feedback.

Sources: Brent Lindeque | Good Things Guy 
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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