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What will air travel look like after lockdown?
This week the EU announced new rules for post-coronavirus air travel, while the UK is not included it is expected that we will adopt similar measures; the highlights of the rules include:
· Face masks
· Temperature checks
· Only passengers to be allowed inside terminals
· Duty Free sales banned in terminals and on board
Anyone who is not travelling or working in an airport will be not be allowed inside the terminal, meaning people will have to say their farewells outside the terminal building and once inside the terminal further precautions will be required. These may include the wearing of face masks, washing/sanitising hands and following “etiquette” of covering their face when sneezing or coughing.
Physical distancing measures with floor markers showing people where to stand are highly likely to be adopted by most airports, although it has been pointed out that because of this the Queue to board a Jumbo might be 1km long!
Airports will also screen passengers for high tempertures and have interview booths to determine whether they will be allowed to fly or asked to return home. Airport staff, including security staff, are expected to wear protective masks and hand out masks to passengers not having a mask.
Hand luggage rules could become even stricter in a bid to reduce boarding time and the risk of infection at gates, and passengers could be offered incentives to take less with them on flights, such as discounted rates for storing baggage in the hold.
On-board, aircraft would be disinfected between all flights, and the EU body has asked for airlines to upgrade air filtration systems to clean the air in the cabin.
Passengers will be required to wear masks on the flight, and should be discarded every four hours, meaning on longer flights people will have to swap out their masks for new ones.
In order to reduce the number of people using the on-board toilets and therefore queuing in the isles, it has been recommended that food and drink services are reduced or suspended, with no duty-free sales on the flight.
Upon arrival, passengers could be subject to thermal screening, and airlines have been asked to provide health authorities with a 'passenger locator card' if requested for contact tracing purposes, which would give details of the passengers name, seat number and contact details.
EasyJet has said that it will resume some flights from June 15, with passengers required to wear face masks on board the aircraft. It will also suspend the sale of food and drink and provide disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser.
Virgin Atlantic have also set out their safety measures which you can read below and if minded you can watch a video of their cleaning practices here.
Enhanced cleaning practices to match—and often exceed—the health and safety guidance from leading health and aviation authorities such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), as well as others.
Our teams thoroughly clean and disinfect all our cabins before and after every departure. This includes seat surrounds, armrests, cabins walls and ceilings, bathrooms and overhead lockers.
Perform deep cleans every 2-3 weeks in addition to our improved cleaning measures, including electrostatic disinfection (called fogging) in all areas of our aircraft.
Audit our planes to double check improved cleaning measures are all being carried out on a regular basis with our partners and airport staff.
Introduced isolation areas on all flights for any customers or crew who may present with symptoms during a flight.
Proactive health screening before boarding, and customer seating reallocated to create as much space in as possible at check in.
All crew will be wearing face masks when in close contact with our customers.