As certain countries ease on the strict travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus. Airports alongside with the Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula are looking at ways to make sure that passengers feel comfortable on their flights and in airports again. Currently only four airports (Cape Town International Airport, King Shaka International Airport, OR Tambo International Airport and Lanseria Airport) are expected to resume domestics flights for business travel.
As more people slowly make their back to the airports, they’ll notice that it’s not business as usual. There’s new infrastructure in place, and new protocols being followed to protect them and air travel employees from the coronavirus.
In addition to deep-cleaning procedures, here are some of the top safety guidelines that have been put in place for when you arrive at the airport to boarding your flight and arriving at your destination.
Entering The Airport
When entering an airport passengers will be required to wear masks at all times and before booking a flight will need to provide written authorisation or proof of travel, confirming the reason for travel.
Drop off and pick up is only permitted outside the terminal building. Only passengers will be allowed to enter the airport and before entering they will be screened. They will also be required to wear face masks at all times.
All airline check-in agents will be required to wear face shields, and the counters installed with protective screens. Check-in counters will be also sanitised frequently.
Entering Through Boarding Gates
At boarding gates, passengers will be staggered and prioritised in terms of the number of passengers to board. Sectional boarding will be implemented to avoid unnecessary contact inside the aircraft.
Markings on the floor for social distancing of 1,5m will be applicable at check-in counters, security checkpoints and airport lounges. It has also been stated by Mbalula, that the loading capacity for all airport buses will be limited to 70 percent, and the busses must disinfected after off-loading. Drivers, baggage handlers and ground handlers must be fully equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Entering For Your Flight
Passengers will no longer have the option of selecting a seat hours before their flight as they will be assigned seats by agents to ensure inflight distancing.
Once passengers are on board, they will experience a new kind of onboard service. There will be no catering on board, no magazines and the last row will be reserved for isolation of suspected cases, and interactions with cabin crew will be limited. The use of touch screens will be minimal or non-existent, to prevent any contact.
On arrival, all passengers will, again, be screened as they enter the terminal building. Suspected cases will be referred to Port Health. Bags will be sani-tagged again before it makes its way to the owners via the conveyor belt. Passengers will be thermal scanned before heading to the border control officer.
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