Manchester, East Midlands and Stansted airports are set to introduce new regulations this week which require passengers to wear masks and gloves when travelling. In addition, passengers will have to make a health declaration.
The rules are being introduced by the airports in order to ensure that air travel is safe and mitigate against the risk of transmitting Covid-19 / Coronavirus to other passengers and come after John Holland-Kaye, CEO of London Heathrow Airport, said that it would be “physically impossible” for passengers to practice at airports.
Passengers are being asked to provide their own personal protective equipment (PPE) but a backup will be on standby at the airport if it is required.
The UK government have been criticised in recent weeks over their slow handling of the Coronavirus pandemic and airport authorities have accused them of not working towards a solution for how air travel will operate effectively once the Coronavirus has passed and the lockdown is lifted.
More than 60 million passengers travel through Manchester, East Midlands, and Stansted airports each year and the main concern of airport executives is that they are unprepared for what they expect to be a summer rush as families begin booking their holidays abroad.
Chief Executive of Manchester Airports Group, Charlie Cornish, agrees with the CEO of London Heathrow Airport and said, “It’s clear that social distancing does not work on any form of public transport. […] We now need the government to work urgently with airports and airlines to agree how we operate in the future.”
Airport authorities insist that the time to act is now arguing that if there is a sudden spike in demand for air travel in the coming months, it is essential that PPE is available to avoid unnecessary price hikes and to ensure that there is enough equipment available for frontline workers across the UK.