Sunday, 10 May 2020

London Stansted asks passengers to wear face coverings

Flying through Stansted?  You'll need to cover-up as the airport introduces a glove and face-covering requirements for all passengers.

Photo Stansted Airport

• The new guidance will be for all passengers departing or arriving through London Stansted
• Passengers are asked to wear gloves and also cover their faces, either with face masks or their own clothing
• The move is designed to demonstrate one way in which air travel can be made safe as passenger numbers start to grow again in the future

Passengers travelling through London Stansted are now asked to cover their faces and wear gloves following the latest requirements from the airport’s owner, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which is also trialling the measures across its other airports, Manchester and East Midlands.

The move makes these airports the first in the UK to ask their passengers to wear face coverings and gloves, despite a chronic shortage of personal protective equipment in care homes and hospitals and medical facility throughout the UK and globally.

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, gloves and masks will be provided 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 MAG is designed 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.

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.

At present, with few flights and passengers at the airport, social distancing is practised in Stansted’s terminal and the new guidelines will not change that.

However, in the future, face coverings and gloves may form an important part of operating a busier airport terminal safely.

The pilot scheme will, therefore, provide valuable feedback and set a path towards a new minimum standard for safe international travel.

In addition to the new guidelines for passengers:

- All MAG colleagues serving passengers at London Stansted will wear gloves and face masks from today, and all staff working for airport partners will be encouraged to follow suit.
- London Stansted will be conducting some limited temperature screening trials over the next few weeks. Initially, during this 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.
- MAG is considering asking all passengers to make a health declaration in order to enter its airports and will give passengers sufficient notice of any such trials.

"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 on 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."  said London Stansted Chief Operating Officer, Steve Griffiths.

The requirement to wear mask/face coverings and gloves is in complete contrast to the advice by the World Health Organisation and may make already scarce personal protective equipment even harder to find, or more expensive, thereby endangering the lives of those on the heath front line, looking after far more vulnerable people ill with the virus.

Will these measures help?  Will these requirements make travellers feel more secure or will it create more fear and worry that Stansted Airport is a rather unsafe and unsanitary place to be.  

Recommended for you...

No comments: