Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have both announced they do not intend to change their schedules to South Africa, despite the Biden administration’s restrictions on travel to and from southern Africa due to concerns about the omicron COVID-19 variant.
The restrictions, which went into effect Monday, ban travelers from seven countries in Africa, including South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.
The new rules bar entry to individuals who have been “physically present” in the designated countries during the “14-day period preceding their entry, or attempted entry into the United States.”
The two airlines are the only US carriers with direct service to South Africa. Delta currently operates three-times-weekly flights between Johannesburg and Atlanta, and said it has “no planned adjustments to services at this time.”
United offers five flights a week between Newark and Johannesburg and said it still plans to restart its Newark-Cape Town service on Dec. 1 as scheduled.
In a statement, United said it “remains committed to maintaining a safe and vital link for essential supplies and personnel to transit between the African continent and the United States as feasible. We don’t have any adjustments to our schedule at this time.”