Under the new measures of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), anyone who does not travel or work at an airport will not be allowed inside the terminal, which means that people will have to say goodbye to their loved ones outside.
Once inside, travelers will also need to take precautions, such as wearing masks and washing their hands, and following the “respiratory etiquette” – covering their face with sneezing or coughing. Anyone who doesn’t follow the rules risks being kicked out of the airport.
They should also observe physical distance measurements while standing 1.5 meters from others, with floor markings placed to show people where to stand.
Airport staff handing out face masks in operational test on May 21 in photo by Heathrow
However, John Holland-Kaye, managing director of Heathrow, stressed that a queue for a jumbo jet would be 1 kilometer if the distance of 1.5 meters was observed.
In the event that such distancing measures are not possible, EASA rules state that the airport should increase other measures, such as hand hygiene.
EASA said airports should set up interview booths for anyone above 38 ° C during screening, but acknowledged that temperature is not a particularly effective measure for locating the virus, and that the cabins would therefore act more as a deterrent.
Other measures at airports will include all personnel wearing protective masks and handing them over to all passengers who do not have them, as well as the addition of plastic screens at check-in counters and security screening areas.
All security personnel will wear masks and may also wear face shields during body checks.
Carry-on baggage rules could become even more stringent in order to reduce boarding time and the risk of infection at doors, and passengers could be offered incentives to take less with them on flights, such as reduced rates for the storage of checked baggage.
Signs in London, Heathrow inform travelers of temperature controls being tested as part of a program on technology that could be used to limit the transmission of coronavirus
The number of other modes of transport involved in air transport, such as buses to and from the plane, should be increased, EASA recommended, in order to reduce overcrowding.
On board, the planes would be disinfected between all flights, and the EU agency asked the airlines to modernize the air filtration systems to clean the air in the cabin.
Passengers will be required to wear masks during the flight and should be thrown out every four hours, which means that on longer flights, people will have to exchange their masks for new ones.
In order to reduce the number of people using the toilets on board and thus to queue up on the islands, EASA recommended reducing catering and ice rink services, without duty-free sales on the flight.
On arrival, passengers could be subjected to thermal control, and airlines were asked to provide health authorities with a “passenger location map” if necessary for contact tracing purposes, which would provide details on passenger names, seat number and contact details.
EASA rules do not provide for a quarantine period for arrivals or the use of immunity passports.