The Blue Train in South Africa has extended its COVID-19 related operation halt until 30 September 2020.
South Africa entered level 3 lockdown on 1 June 2020, and restrictions in this level still include travel bans (international and inter-provincial).
Resuming operations is dependent on further pronouncements from the government of South Africa, but in the meantime, The Blue Train is getting ready for operation in a COVID-19 era. Several health and safety precautions are being put in place to ensure that when we resume travel, The Blue Train is COVID-19-fit (a comprehensive safety and hygiene protocol document will be shared with the industry in due course, upon approval by the relevant inspection authorities).
At the commencement of the suspension of services in March 2020, The Blue Train apprised its booked, paid and confirmed guests of changes to the cancellation policy to accommodate resultant travel disruptions. These changes remain in place with the following amendments, and give guests who were to travel on The Blue Train from March 2020 to 30 September 2020 the following options:
- Ticket Transfer: The transfer of tickets to friends and family who can travel from 1 October 2020 to 31 December 2021 (should COVID-19 regulations allow by then).
- Postponement: The option to postpone travel to any date that falls within 1 October 2020 to 31 December 2021 (should COVID-19 regulations allow by then). Only one postponement will be allowed.
- Cancellation: The last option is to cancel confirmed bookings that are fully paid and receive a full refund.
All the above options will not incur any penalties.
At this stage, for transfers, postponements and cancellations of travel after 31 December 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 duration of the suspension will be reviewed at the end of September 2020, pending further pronouncements by the government of South Africa on the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.