Under the new measures from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), anyone who is not travelling or working in an airport will be not be allowed inside the terminal, meaning people will have to say goodbye to loved ones outside.
Once inside, travellers will also be expected to take precautions, such as wearing face masks and washing hands, and to follow ‘respiratory etiquette’ – covering the face when sneezing or coughing. Anyone who does not follow the rules risks being kicked out of the airport.
They should also observe physical distancing measures by keeping 1.5 meters away from others, with floor markings placed to show people where to stand.
In a photo issued by Heathrow, a member of staff at the airport hands out face masks during an operations test, May 21
However, John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, pointed out that a queue for a jumbo jet would be 1 kilometer long if the 1.5 meter distance were observed.
In the event that such distancing measures are not possible, the EASA rules state that the airport should increase other measures, such as hand hygiene.
The EASA has said airports should arrange interview booths for anyone who is found to have a temperature above 38C when screened, but acknowledged that temperature is not a particularly effective metric to spot the virus with, and therefore booths would act more as a deterrent.
Other measures at airports will include all staff wearing protective face masks, and giving them to any passengers who do not have one, as well as adding plastic screens at check desks and security check areas.
All security staff will be wearing masks, and could also be wearing face shields when performing body checks.
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.
Signs at London, Heathrow inform travellers of temperature checks being trialed as part of a programme looking at technology that could be used to limit the transmission of coronavirus
The numbers of other methods of transport involved in air travel, such as buses to and from the aircraft, should be increased, the EASA has recommended, in order to reduce overcrowding.
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, the EASA has recommended that food and rink services are reduced, 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.
The EASA rules do not include a quarantine period for arrivals or the use of immunity passports.