Posted at 9:23 AM ET December 23, 2020
An Air France flight to Paris, France takes off from OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg on Monday, December 21, 2020. Increasingly more nations world wide are limiting journey from Nice Britain and america. Elsewhere, together with South Africa, amid considerations about new strains of the coronavirus. (Picture: Jerome Delay, AP)
PARIS – The security guard pointing on the thermometer barely glanced at it, however wished the traveler a cheerful trip. Baggage packers dreamed of higher occasions, and the record of departing flights didn't even fill a video display.
It's the 2020 Christmas journey, a pale shadow of earlier vacation favorites, with fewer than 100 masked and sanitized passengers queuing for a flight from Johannesburg to Paris, hoping it received't be not canceled on the final minute. Covid-19 has simply mutated and plenty of flights from South Africa are banned.
Usually the O.R. from Johannesburg Tambo Worldwide Airport will get busy this time of 12 months. Normally, vacationers pushing outsized baggage carts meander by way of the queues to check-in counters, adopted by longer traces for security and once more for check-in. # 39; immigration. Even the enterprise lounges are overcrowded and it may take 20 minutes to pay for a free bottle of wine.
Not this Christmas.
Checking in is easy. It’s not obligatory to point out proof of a COVID-19 take a look at. There are not any traces to security, the place the large outdated x-ray machines have been changed by a high-tech physique scanner. Only a fast temperature verify and provides a monitoring kind to a well being official.
The worldwide terminal is empty. Most shops are closed other than the duty-free (however not non-profit) fragrance, alcohol and tobacco retailer, a sun shades franchise, and a listless electronics retailer.
Boarding is a cinch, correctly when an plane is underneath 40% capability.
Passengers carrying branded material masks are politely requested to take away them and put on the not so fashionable however universally acknowledged mild blue surgical masks.
Ten hours later, after a easy flight over the African continent within the darkness of the evening, the 15-year-old Boeing 777 landed in a typical winter haze at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris .
There, regardless of the very early hour, a whole bunch of individuals line up on the transit workplace. With London, a preferred European transit hub, being a no-go zone for a lot of, vacationers returned to Paris or Frankfurt as a European transit level.
For these whose remaining vacation spot is Paris, passengers are screened for immigration, primarily based on the origin of their flight. Proof of a unfavourable COVID-19 take a look at is required however social distances usually are not essentially revered.
On the curb, it’s raining, it’s darkish and the taxi driver is inaudible, as a result of a thick sheet of plastic separates him from the passengers.
It’s now after 6 a.m. and the curfew has been lifted on Paris – the highways are crowded.
Pleased holidays 2020!
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Learn or share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/journey/2020/12/23/two-hotspots-flying-johannesburg-paris-covid-restrictions-rise/4022872001/