News and Updates

News and Updates

Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf’s Statement on Presidential Proclamation To Protect the Homeland from Travel-Related Coronavirus Spread

Release Date: March 11, 2020

(WASHINGTON) Today President Donald J. Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation, which suspends the entry of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States. These countries, known as the Schengen Area, include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. This does not apply to legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.  

Statement from DHS Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf:

“Protecting the American people from threats to their safety is the most important job of the President of the United States. The actions President Trump is taking to deny entry to foreign nationals who have been in affected areas will keep Americans safe and save American lives. I applaud the president for making this tough but necessary decision. While these new travel restrictions will be disruptive to some travelers, this decisive action is needed to protect the American public from further exposure to the potentially deadly coronavirus.

“In January and February, the Administration issued similar travel restrictions on individuals who had been in China and Iran. That action proved to be effective in slowing the spread of the virus to the U.S., while public health officials prepared. In the next 48 hours, in the interest of public health, I intend to issue a supplemental Notice of Arrivals Restriction requiring U.S. passengers that have been in the Schengen Area to travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures.”

Top 20 Safest Airlines 2020

The Top 20 are the who’s who of airlines and, in numerical order, are: Qantas, Air New Zealand, EVA Air, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Virgin Australia, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, TAP Portugal, SAS, Royal Jordanian, Swiss, Finnair, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, and KLM.

According to AirlineRatings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas, these airlines are standouts in the industry and are at the forefront of safety, innovation, and launching of new aircraft. “For instance, Australia’s Qantas has been recognized by the British Advertising Standards Association in a test case as the world’s most experienced airline,” Thomas said.

Top Twenty Safest Airlines for 2020

New Baggage Rules at O.R. Tambo International Airport

Media Release

NEW RULES AT O.R. TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FOR BAGS OF IRREGULAR SHAPE

KEMPTON PARK, 25 March 2019 – New rules for checking in bags of irregular shape and size will be applied at O. R. Tambo International Airport from today (25 March 2019).

The new rules are aimed at preventing blockages and breakdowns in the baggage handling system caused by bags that do not have any flat surfaces or that have long straps or grips as per the International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines.

Bags that are round or do not have a flat surface of any kind are the largest source of jams in the baggage handling system. These jams can shut down sections of the baggage handling system, delay baggage delivery to aircraft and inconvenience passengers and airlines.

Airport management has been contemplating these new rules since early 2018 and has now decided to adopt baggage conditions similar to those applied at other international airports. Terminal 1 at Dubai International Airport recently instituted the same kind of baggage rules that will now be applied at O. R. Tambo International Airport.

The new rules have been agreed to after extensive consultations with the Airline Operators Committee (AOC) and other bodies representing airlines.

The new baggage rules are:

  1. Only regular-shaped bags will be allowed at check-in counters;
  2. This means that the bags must have at least one flat surface to be accepted on the check-in system;
  3. Round or irregular-shaped bags will not be allowed at check-in counters; and
  4. Bags with longs straps will not be allowed at check-in counters.