London Stansted passengers to have to wear masks and gloves
Passengers using London Stansted are to be asked to cover their faces and wear gloves when using the airport.
Owner Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has announced it will be trialling the measures across its airports, which also include Manchester and East Midlands.
They will be the first airports in the UK to ask passengers to wear face coverings, with those using Stansted encouraged to bring their own gloves and face coverings or face masks.
In the early stages of the pilot, those arriving without gloves or masks will be provided with them to wear throughout their time in the airport.
Steve Griffiths, London Stansted's chief operating officer, 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.”
The measures are designed to make sure that the small number of passengers currently making essential journeys feel safe and confident about flying, as well as providing further protection to those working at the airport.
Social distancing is already practiced in Stansted's terminal and the new guidelines will not change that but, in the future, face coverings and gloves may form an important part of operating a busier airport terminal safely.
All MAG staff at Stansted will wear gloves and face masks from today, and all staff working for airport partners will be encouraged to follow suit.
Some limited temperature screening trials will be conducted at Stansted during the next few weeks to test equipment. Results will not be communicated to passengers or used to decide whether a passenger can travel.
MAG is also 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.