The Blue Train prepares for travel in the COVID-19 ERASubmitted by Anele Motha
As the nation enters Level 3 Lockdown and restrictions start easing for various sectors, The Blue Train has started preparing for operation in the era of COVID-19. In March 2020, the luxury train announced a suspension of its services in accordance with the South African government’s national lockdown. This suspension was extended to 30th June 2020 after the government’s Adjusted Risk Strategy for Economic Activity in April 2020.
“This is an uncertain time and it requires us all to be cautious as we anticipate a return to economic activity. Resuming operations is dependent on further pronouncements from the government of South Africa, but in the meantime, we will get The Blue Train ready for operation in a COVID-19 era. Several health and safety precautions will be put in place to ensure that when we resume travel, The Blue Train is COVID-19-fit. Our service offering is a flagship South African tourism experience and our drive is to ensure that when travel and tourism activities resume, The Blue Train will be ready to afford our guests the perfect experience of South Africa’s finest luxury rail experience,” said Vincent Monyake, Executive Manager at The Blue Train.
During the process of readying The Blue Train, the team will continue to comply with the government’s directives of regular COVID-19 symptom checks, full use of personal protective equipment and social distancing to ensure the safety of all involved.
The Blue Train has kept all guests and partners apprised of the changes to the cancellation policy to accommodate travel disruptions. These changes remain in place and give guests who were meant to travel on The Blue Train from 18th March 2020 to 31st August 2020 two options:
Ticket Transfer: The transfer of tickets to friends and family who can travel from 1st June 2020 to 31st August 2020.
Postponement: The first option is to postpone travel to any date that falls within 1st September 2020 to 31st December 2021. Only one postponement will be allowed during the 69 weeks.
Cancellation: The second option is to cancel confirmed bookings and receive a full refund. Both these options will not incur any penalties.
For transfers, Postponements and Cancellations of travel after 31st August 2020, The Blue Train’s Standard Terms and Conditions will apply. 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. Any costs or expenses incurred as a result of the postponement such as flights, accommodation, transfers, excursions and other costs, would be at the customers’ expense.
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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