If you’re planning through either Manchester Airport, Stansted Airport or East Midlands Airport, you’re going to need to invest in face masks and gloves.
The new requirement went live on 7th May and was put in place by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) – the owners of the three airports.
In the first phase, passengers are being encouraged to bring their own gloves and face coverings or face masks to the airport. However, in the early stages of the pilot, for those arriving without equipment, the airport will provide gloves and masks that can be worn throughout passengers’ time in the airport.
Staff will also be on hand to guide passengers and help them navigate through the usual security processes while wearing protective equipment.
The move by the airport group is to ensure that the small number of passengers currently making essential journeys through its airports feel safer and more confident about flying, as well as providing a further level of protection to colleagues working at the airport.
More interestingly, MAG also believes that the new guidelines represent a first step towards demonstrating ways in which air travel can be safe when more passengers start travelling again. The pilot scheme will provide valuable feedback and set a path towards a new minimum standard for safe international travel.
As well as asking passengers to wear face coverings and gloves, MAG Group workers serving passengers will wear gloves and face masks, and all staff working for airport partners will be encouraged to follow this.
In addition, the airport will be conducting some limited temperature screening (initially in a test phase, with results not used to decide if a passenger is fit to fly). The final thing the airport group is asking all passengers to make a health declaration in order to enter its airports
The airport group will give notice w if it wants to commit to this trial to passengers.
Charlie Cornish, Group CEO, MAG, said
“It’s clear that social distancing will not work on any form of public transport. But we’re confident that when the time is right, people will be able to travel safely.
“MAG has been working with the rest of the airport industry on a new safety framework for travel. We now need to work urgently with Government to agree how we operate in the future. This has to be a top priority so that people can be confident about flying, and to get tourism and travel going again.
“At MAG we’ve taken expert medical advice on how people can travel safely, and we’re pleased to be piloting these new measures at our airports for those passengers who do still need to travel. We expect to be able to agree a new framework by the end of May that will support a restart of the industry as soon as possible.”
A vision of the “new normal”?
With face masks already becoming part of the new normal, airport operators are working out a way how to make traversing their facilities “safer”. With thermal cameras and health declarations also fitting into the mix too, there may be a lot more surveillance in the airport to allow people to move between countries.
In the end, there needs to be a coordinated effort so passengers have one set of instructions to follow. As we all know, having multiple sets of safety and security regulations can lead to chaos…
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