British air passengers urged not to carry carry-on baggage on airplanes | Business

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Passengers on UK airlines should avoid bringing carry-on baggage on an airplane to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, according to new government advice.However, the recommendation has been criticized by the largest European airline, Ryanair, which said it was safer for passengers to carry rather than check in baggage. Department of Transportation guidelines “strongly” encourage passengers to check their baggage and minimize carry-on baggage as it “will speed up boarding and disembarking and minimize the risk of transmission.”

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said the guidelines were “a positive next step” for the struggling aviation sector to begin recovery, after most flights failed due to coronavirus and travel restrictions from end of March.

Shapps added: “The government’s advice currently remains to avoid all non-essential travel, but today we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that a framework is in place for the aviation industry to rebound when it is sure that travel restrictions are lifted. . ”

Air travel guidelines are arriving as more flights are scheduled to resume next week when easyJet resumes domestic service from Gatwick.

The opinion, which largely follows the guidelines of the United Nations aviation organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as well as contributions from the British aviation industry, also recommends registering in line and stay seated as much as possible during the flight.

General health tips will continue to apply, such as trying to maintain social distance when possible at the airport and washing your hands regularly after touching all surfaces, including check-in kiosks and carts .

Passengers are advised to bring their own face cover for use throughout their journey, including at the airport, with spare covers for long journeys and plastic bags to store used masks.

Specific rules on temperature controls or self-certification, which some airlines and airports have requested, have not been published. However, in accordance with general guidelines, passengers have been advised not to travel if they have been in close contact with a symptomatic person in the past 14 days.

Tim Hawkins, director of strategy at MAG, owner of Stansted and Manchester airports, said he worked with the government to develop the guidelines, based on the advice of independent medical and scientific experts who reviewed the measures. security required at each stage of the journey. .

But Ryanair said it recommended carry-on baggage, which would only be touched by the passenger, rather than checked baggage that would have contact with multiple baggage handlers and check-in staff.

Aside from Ryanair, most airlines and airports welcomed the guidelines, which they said would help pave the way for resumed travel – but also urged the government to remove the obstacle from its controversial quarantine rules. and to introduce proposed “air bridges” to allow flights to certain international destinations as soon as possible.

Tim Alderslade, Managing Director of Airlines UK, said the guidelines were welcome: “They show how airlines can apply targeted, multi-layered measures to ensure that air travel is safe for customers and crew . ”

The International Air Transport Association said the measures were reasonable but “rendered useless if the government continues to apply the 14-day quarantine rule”.

A spokesperson for Ryanair said the government should “stop giving advice to passengers on baggage and focus their efforts on removing unnecessary quarantine from visitors to the UK, which according to the UK Department of Interior, can no longer be implemented, supervised or effectively monitored ”.

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