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London Stansted becomes one of the first airports in the UK to ask passengers to wear masks

PUBLISHED: 15:04 07 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:04 07 May 2020

Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer at Stansted Airport. Picture: LONDON STANSTED AIRPORT

Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer at Stansted Airport. Picture: LONDON STANSTED AIRPORT

London Stansted Airport

London Stansted has become one of the first airports in the UK to ask passengers to wear a mask and gloves as part of new Covid-19 guidance.

The new trial measures, which come from the airports owner Manchester Airports Group (MAG), are intended to increase the public’s confidence in the safety of flying and do not replace the social distancing that is currently in place in the terminal.

All staff employed by London Stansted who have contact with passengers will wear a mask and gloves, and MAG say they have asked people working for other companies in the airport to do the same.

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At the start of the trial masks and gloves will be provided for passengers who do not arrive at the airport with them.

The trial will also include some limited temperature screening over the next few weeks. But this will be used to test equipment and not in order to decide whether someone is safe to fly.

The airport is also considering asking passengers to declare they are healthy before allowing them into the airport.

Steve Griffiths, London Stansted’s chief operating officer, 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.

“Here at London Stansted, we’ve been working hard with our two sister airports and the rest of the 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.

“We have 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.”

Find all of our coronavirus coverage here.

The scheme is also being trialled at MAG’s two other airports, Manchester and East Midlands.

It is hoped feedback from the trial will help to set a standard for safe air travel in the future when social distancing is no longer possible due to the number of passengers passing through the airport.

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