Local airline FlySafair has offloaded a passenger on one of their flights for refusing to wear a mask.

The flight FA288 was departing from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport to Durban’s King Shaka International Airport on Saturday evening.

Chief Marketing Officer Kirby Gordon says the airline will not compromise on COVID-19 regulations and put the lives of other passengers at risk.

He says they stand to lose their licence if they allow people to break the rules on any of their flights.

“After addressing a passenger he decided he still no longer wanted to wear his mask. So unfortunately we had to offload the passenger from the aircraft. SAPS were contacted and he was escorted off by SAPS. It’s absolutely imperative, if we don’t follow the regulations we stand the risk of losing our operating licence. And at this stage wearing a mask in public and on an aircraft is as much a law as anything else so we have to treat it the same way as if an individual were to sit down and light a cigarette or refuse to wear their seatbelt,” says Gordon.

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COVID-19 latest statistics

On Saturday, 1 834 new coronavirus cases were confirmed by the Department of Health -bringing the total number of cases to 714 246.

The department also recorded 53 new COVID-19 related fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths to 18 944.

Recoveries now stand at 644 641, which translates to a recovery rate of 90%.

Scientists have warned that if safety precautions are not taken, a second wave of COVID-19 would happen.