After about six weeks of delay from our original travel dates we finally arrived in Cape Town, South Africa in the early morning hours of Friday, Feb. 25, 2021. Thanks to everyone who were praying for our flights and the “gauntlet” of Covid testing and airport check-in and transfer protocols, everything went very smoothly.
The big change that made our flights through Amsterdam connecting to Cape Town possible was Delta offering at-airport Covid-19 rapid testing at the Atlanta airport. This allowed us to comply with the Dutch governments requirements that went into effect on Jan. 15th that all arriving and transferring airline passengers must test negative within 4 hours of boarding their flights. Once Delta began offering these testing services, KLM restarted their connecting flights from Amsterdam to Cape Town keeping our rebooked flights all operating.
Delta’s Atlanta airport rapid testing program for all Amsterdam-bound flights
We learned of this new at-airport testing with Delta on Monday Feb. 15th so we immediately went into pack-up the house and suitcases mode, got ourselves booked for our Covid PCR tests the following Monday 22nd and departed Orlando midday Wednesday 24th. Praise the Lord there were no last minute “flight cancelled” emails coming through this time! Our PCR and our rapid tests all came back negative and so we departed Florida in good health after nearly 4 months there and were welcomed into South Africa by the immigration officials. Given our permanent resident status and negative PCR tests, we were permitted to proceed to our home without any mandatory quarantine period.
Andy’s Covid-19 rapid test result certificate – received 3 hours before departure
I must say that the C-19 rapid testing process in Atlanta was so well run, it was really a showcase of how any other airlines and governments can work together to keep people flying and airlines operating (wow, could Canada ever learn some lessons as to finding ways to make things work for travelers instead of finding ways to make things as difficult as possible).
Sonya awaiting rapid test results in the Delta testing lounge in Atlanta airport
Sonya and I have spent the last week settling into life here, adjusting to new climate and time zones, as well as lots of cleaning and addressing some maintenance work after our apartment sat idle for 11+ months. But it’s all good; we are very happy to be finally home and look forward to all the Lord has for us here as we ramp up our ministries under our HFI Posting. Things kick off already this Friday the 5th as I have a full day of meetings discussing the Innovation Hub and Hillsong Africa expansion operations.
Blessings to all our friends and family. Look for our updates here as the months unfold ahead.