Johannesburg – The Blue Train has announced that it will be temporarily suspending its operations for the remainder of 2020 in light of the most recent alert of a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
The decision will affect the remaining four journeys that were scheduled for 14, 16, 17 and 19 December 2020, on the Pretoria – Cape Town route.
“In challenging times such as this, we have to be thorough and decisive in our operations to ensure that our guests and our crew are as safe as possible. Due to the alerts from the national government that the country is entering a second wave of COVID-19 infections, with Gauteng and Western Cape being some of the provinces at the epicentre of increased cases, it is prudent to temporarily suspend services for the remainder of the year. This is a pre-emptive cautionary measure that will afford us the time and space to monitor the progression of infections without compromising the safety of our guests and crew,” said Lekhetho Mokoena, Operations Manager at The Blue Train.
The Blue Train resumed operations in September when the country moved to lockdown level 2, with private charters and from November with leisure travel. Services are expected to resume in January 2021, when the second wave of COVID-19 has been managed.
“This was a tough decision to make, and we arrived at it after rigorous deliberations with our health and safety experts. We do not take this move lightly as it is a hard blow to the momentum we had gained since we resumed services in September, but it is necessary for the safety of our guests and crew. We apologise profusely for any inconvenience this decision will cause our guests who were looking forward to getting on board The Blue Train. We appreciate that this negatively impacts planned travel itineraries and we have ensured that the reservations team is readily available to assist all guests as best as we can,” added Mokoena.
Guests confirmed for travel on the affected days will be contacted by The Blue Train’s reservations team to arrange for postponements.
The COVID-relevant cancellation policy will apply to affected guests, giving them more flexibility at no additional cost. Guests who are booked but are yet to pay and therefore are unconfirmed, will incur applicable costs commensurate with the ticket cost as per the date of postponement.
The Blue Train will continue to communicate updates to its operations as the government of South Africa provides more information on the ongoing national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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