The Gautrain is to resume its services during level four of the national lockdown. The announcement was made by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Friday.
This comes after Gautrain services were suspended at the end of March due to the national lockdown. The minister has urged passengers and workers to practice social distancing and a good hygiene as a means to contain the spread of the Coronavirus
“We urge our employees and passengers alike to adhere to good hygiene practices and to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or alternatively to use an alcohol-base hand sanitizer,” said Mbalula.
Gautrain operations will be gradually reintroduced at eight of its nine stations. Mbalula said there will be no airport services.
“The Airport service will remain suspended until further notice. Passengers travelling on the East-West line must disembark the train at Rhodesfield station. Trains will then proceed to OR Tambo where it will be turned around before proceeding back to Rhodesfield station.” Said Mbalula.
He added that all customer-facing staff will be screened for COVID-19 ahead of resuming their normal duties on Monday 04 May.
“Staff will be screened for fever throughout the day and have been asked to stay at home if they have any symptoms. Likewise, we appeal to our passengers to also stay at home if they are unwell,” said Mbalula.
According to Mbalula wearing a mask when using public transport is law, meanwhile an appropriate load factor will be applied by all operators. It will be based on their seating and standing arrangements according to 50% standard coach occupancy.
He said the Gautrain will operate from 5:00 to 12:00 and 15:00 to 19:00. The last trains will depart at 18:00 to clear the system by 19:00 to allow for travelling of operating staff. This is to ensure that staff arrive home before the 20:00 – 05:00 curfew under level four of the lockdown.
Mbalula further said they will first consider Pienaarspoort in Tshwane and the southern lines in Cape Town for resumption of services. To date, there are 5647 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 103 fatalities.