London Stansted is urging passengers travelling through London Stansted to cover their faces and wear gloves.
The airport’s owner, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), has issued the new guidance and is 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.
The move is aimed at ensuring that the limited number of passengers currently making essential journeys through its airports feels safer and confident about flying. It will also provide a further level of protection to colleagues working at the airport. The pilot scheme will provide valuable feedback and set a path towards a new minimum standard for safe international travel.
Passengers are urged 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 at the airport. London Stansted will also 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 planning to ask all passengers to make a health declaration in order to enter its airports and will give passengers sufficient notice of any such trials.
London Stansted Chief Operating Officer, Steve Griffiths, said: ‘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 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.’