Passengers told to wear gloves and masks as airport ramps up measures to deter virus spread
- Credit: Archant
Stansted and Manchester airports owner has become the first in the UK to require passenger to wear gloves and masks in response to the coronavirus crisis.
New guidance from May 7 asks all passengers departing or arriving through Stansted to wear gloves and also cover their faces, either with face masks or their own clothing.
Manchester Airports Group (MAG) said the move is designed to demonstrate one way air travel can be made safe when more travel resumes, as its tries to reassure the small number of passengers currently making essential journeys, as well as providing some protection to staff.
MORE – Greene King launches hardship fund to help employees ‘facing real financial difficulties’Passengers are being encouraged to bring their own gloves and face coverings or face masks to the airport, but airport authorities said in the early stages of the pilot, those arriving without will be provided with them.
Staff will also be wearing protective equipment and airlines will be encouraged to follow suit.
The airport will be conducting some limited temperature screening trials over the next few weeks. However, during the trial phase this will be to test equipment and results will not be communicated to passengers or used to decide whether a passenger can travel.
It is considering asking all passengers to make a health declaration in order to enter its airports.
Chief operating officer Steve Griffiths said it was “clear” social distancing would not work on any form of public transport, but he was confident that “when the time is right” people will be able to travel safely.
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“We’ve been working hard with our two sister airports and the rest of the industry on a new safety framework for travel,” he said.
“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.”