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EU Guidelines Opens the Doors to Airline Travel

4th June 2020 - 3:00pm

EU Guidelines Opens the Doors to Airline Travel

EU Guidelines Opens the Doors to Airline Travel

The EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the ECDC developed guidelines for airport operators, airlines, authorities and other stakeholders to ensure passenger and employee safety while minimising the risk of virus transmission. Guidelines will be regularly evaluated and updated and are expected to be gradually reduced over time in line with risk levels. While a lengthy 28-page read, here is an overview of recommendations and considerations with a focus on passengers.


Airport operators and airlines to encourage symptomatic passengers not present to the airport. Airlines encourage sick passengers to not report for flights, e.g. by offering incentives such as cost-free rebooking or refund up to 6 hours before the flight based on a doctor’s certificate confirming suspicion of COVID19.


Airlines to inform passengers of the expected duration of new measures to schedule their airport arrival in due time. Health safety promotion materials to be widely available in the airport and on airplanes. Passengers to minimise time at the airport. Access to airport terminals limited to passengers and staff (exceptions for pax requiring assistance – reduced mobility, unaccompanied minors, etc.).


Medical face masks to be worn in the airport and on aircraft at all times (exemptions - security checks or border control). Children


Physical distancing of 1.5m to be maintained in the airport with measures to prevent queuing in high passenger concentration areas. Airlines and airport operators to ensure physical distancing wherever feasible, especially during check-in, security, pre-boarding and boarding. Where possible, use non-contact processes (e.g. mobile check in, non-contact boarding).


Airports to consider non-invasive temperature checks for departing passengers, ideally before check-in and baggage drop-off. Identify passengers with a temperature of 38°C or higher for referral to a secondary assessment by a health professional or follow the agreed protocol of screening.


Passengers provide a statement regarding their COVID19 status before boarding pass is issued, ideally at check-in. Airlines advise of consequences of false statements.


Minimal hand luggage to expedite boarding & disembarking, minimise movements and potential contamination in the cabin. Ensure efficient boarding processes, limit boarding time and contact risk by considering boarding rows starting with the furthest row from the aircraft doors used in the embarkation process or, alternatively, all window seats, then middle seats, followed by aisle seats. Advise passengers regarding application of preventive measures on board, including: hand hygiene, appropriate use of face masks, respiratory etiquette, limited contact with cabin surfaces, minimise on-board service and reduce use of individual air supply nozzles.


Airlines, to the extent possible, ensure physical distancing among passengers. Family members and same households can be seated next to each other. The seat allocation process should be modified accordingly. Airlines reduce on-board service to the minimum necessary and limit the contact between crew and passengers. No duty free or other non-essential product sales on board. Reduced food and drink service. Preference for pre-packaged and sealed food and drinks; and contactless payment. Passengers should remain seated with their seatbelt fastened.


Airlines should provide a passenger locator card (PLC) to the relevant public health authorities upon request for contact tracing purposes: full name, allocated seat, working phone number (or email address).


Governments should simplify border control formalities, by enabling contactless processes (e.g. reading of passport chips, facial recognition etc.) or passenger flow management with digital solutions, setting up special lanes, and training their agents to detect signs of unwell passengers. Possible redesign of immigration halls needs to be coordinated between the airport, airlines and the government. Arriving passengers are advised to leave the arrival terminal as soon as possible.

For the full guidelines, see HERE

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