On November 25, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) released new guidelines for the country’s airline industry, which it oversees.
The document, Technical Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Epidemics for Airlines, Sixth Edition, provides guidance on best hygienic practices for use on board airplanes and at airports.
But one of those suggestions – that both staff and flight attendants wear disposable diapers so they don’t need to use the bathroom – raised a few eyebrows.
A section on PPE advises cabin crew on flights to and from high risk countries to wear “medical masks, disposable double-layer medical gloves, goggles, disposable hats, disposable protective clothing. and disposable shoe covers ”.
The following sentence reads: “It is recommended that cabin crew members wear disposable diapers and avoid using the toilet except in special circumstances to avoid the risk of infection.” “
While such advice might sound dramatic, it’s no secret that the toilet can be the most sprouted place on a plane. In August, a woman traveling from Italy to South Korea contracted coronavirus while traveling, and a visit to the toilet – the only place she was not wearing an N95 mask – was pointed out as the possible source of her infection .
Aircraft bathroom design was already a hot topic before Covid-19, but the pandemic has focused efforts on finding new solutions.
Japanese airline ANA announced earlier this year that it was testing a prototype of a new hands-free toilet door. Meanwhile, Boeing has successfully filed for a patent on a “self-cleaning sink” that would use UV light to clean 99.9% of germs from the bathroom after each use.
Hannah Zhang of CNN contributed reporting.