Blue Train reveals its Covid-19 measures for post-pandemic journeys. Picture: Supplied.
Blue Train reveals its Covid-19 measures for post-pandemic journeys. Picture: Supplied.

How a SA luxury train journey will look like during the pandemic

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Aug 6, 2020

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As South African travel and tourism businesses get back on their feet, companies are doing everything in their power to protect their guests and staff.

The Blue Train, a luxury train experience in South Africa, revealed its new Covid-19 policies. The luxury train experience halted its operations since the national lockdown.

Executive manager of The Blue Train Vincent Monyake said the experience will have to evolve for the health and safety of guests and crew.

"A key part of The Blue Train experience is the social interaction between guests. However, we are forced to a new set of rules for the new normal. For as long as we are dealing with Covid-19, some elements of The Blue Train experience will have to evolve for the health and safety of our guests and crew," he said.

Here's what the journey will look like post-pandemic:

The booking process

Guests will complete a pre-screening questionnaire and declare whether they have any Covid-19 related symptoms. If guests don't meet the pre-screening requirements, the booking will be deferred to a later date.

Day of departure

A second pre-screening process will be initiated with a follow-up questionnaire. If three or more questions are affirmative, The Blue Train’s Health and Safety Department will make contact for further clarity.

On arrival at the Pre-Departure Lounge, guests will be welcomed by The Blue Train butlers wearing masks, latex gloves and maintaining a safe social distance of 2 metres. All the guests need to wear a cloth mask and sanitise at the stations provided. Butlers will assist with luggage while maintaining a safe distance.

Check-in

There will be demarcated areas for check-in. Guests will be requested to sanitise their hands at the entrance of the lounge. Each guest will undergo temperature scanning. If their temperature is above 37.5 degrees Celsius, guests will be taken to a cooling room. An on-board medical practitioner will attend to the guest, and when cleared, the guest will then proceed to the reception for check-in. If not, the guest’s booking will be deferred to a later date. After registration, a safety kit with three cloth masks, 50ml sanitiser, wet wipes and three pairs of latex gloves will be issued to each guest.

The journey

Guests will be grouped to prevent the formation of large groups.

The crew will render services with a face mask and latex gloves. Each staff member will be issued with their hand sanitiser. The air conditioning system is cleaned and disinfected at every departure for good ventilation. All crew will be screen by the medical practitioner three times a day.

Guests will only eat with their travelling companions. The Observation, Lounge and Club Cars will only admit a maximum of 20 guests at a time. There will be a medical practitioner on board The Blue Train and an isolation car with two suites made available for quarantine purposes.

There will be constant cleaning with steaming of all upholstery and surface disinfecting of all furniture, doors, handles, toilets, trash bins and toothbrush beakers for guests peace of mind. All cleaning detergents will be in line with the World Health Organisation and South African Tourism guidelines.

Departure

All the guests will be required to be tested in the morning before going for breakfast. If a guest records high temperature, the guest will be quarantine. In the event, that a guest starts showing symptoms of Covid-19 or any other medical condition while on board, the medical practitioner will attend to the guest until an ambulance arrives to take the guest to the nearest hospital.

Should any guest test positive while en-route, a risk assessment will be conducted to identify all the areas and people that the positive case came in contact with.

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