South African airways
South African airways

The South African Airways (SAA) on Tuesday announced its decision to suspend all its domestic flights in support of the national lockdown over COVID-19.

The suspension will be effective from March 27 until April 16, the national flag carrier said in a statement.

The decision came after President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night declared a 21-day nationwide lockdown, to become effective midnight on Thursday.

Under the lockdown, most shops will be closed except for pharmacies, laboratories, health care providers, banks, essential financial and payment services, including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, supermarkets, and petrol stations.

Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances.

“SAA supports this national effort as announced by the government, to retard, contain, manage and disrupt the rate of transmission of COVID-19,” the airline said.

The SAA said it will provide support to passengers who intend to change their travel plans and commence their journeys before the implementation of the national lockdown, adding that its call centers will not operate during the lockdown.

On Friday, the SAA announced the suspension of both international and regional flights amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

On Tuesday, South Africa’s total confirmed cases surged to 554, an increase of 152 from Monday, the highest rise in a single day since the country reported its first case on March 5. Enditem

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