3 UK airports now require passengers to wear masks and gloves when travelling

May 4, 2020

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Three U.K. airports have announced that they will require passengers to wear gloves and face masks when travelling beginning this week.

As reported by The Telegraph, Manchester (MAN), London Stansted (STN) and East Midlands (EMA) will require passengers to wear the personal protective equipment when travelling. The three airports are owned by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG).

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Passengers will be expected to bring their own gloves and masks, though each of the airports will have some supplies to offer passengers. Manchester Airport said that makeshift PPE measures, such as using a scarf, will be permitted.

In addition to the PPE requirement for passengers and staff, Manchester Airport also said that it’s trialling additional technology, such as temperature checks and the requirement for arriving passengers to make health declarations.

Related: One of the UK’s smallest passenger airports is the first to get fever-detection cameras

“Manchester Airport can confirm it will be piloting various new safety measures that are being put in place across MAG later this week”, a Manchester Airport spokesperson said. “They are designed to help the small number of passengers currently making essential journeys through Manchester Airport feel safer and more confident about flying at this time”.

The move from the Manchester Airports Group comes amid growing criticism of the government, which has been accused of being “slow to work with airports” for enacting widespread regulations in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Across the world, many individual airlines have enacted policies, requiring that travellers wear masks for the duration of the journey — for example, Delta Air Lines, Emirates and Lufthansa. The Canadian government now requires that all travellers wear a mask. As of Monday, 4 May, Eurostar now requires that all passengers must wear a mask.

However, no U.K. airline has enacted similar policies.

Related: Emirates says no carry-on bags allowed on board, all passengers must wear mask and gloves

The government has been slow to release a widespread policy for airports and passengers arriving in the U.K. The CEO of the U.K.’s busiest airport London Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, said that social distancing in airports would be impossible.

“Forget social distancing, it won’t work in aviation or any other form of public transport, and the problem is not the plane, it is the lack of space in the airport”, Holland-Kaye wrote in the Daily Telegraph. “Just one jumbo jet would require a queue a kilometre long”.

Instead, Holland-Kaye recommended that the government implement a “common international standard” of solutions that could be ready for summer travel. For example, he recommended mandatory health checks and keeping airports clean.

Last week, the government revealed that as part of a phased lifting of restrictions, it may require anyone entering the country that they will have to self-quarantine for 14 days. Under the plan, all travellers would be required to fill out an arrival card. The landing card would include details about their health and the address where they would self-isolate for the 14-day period.

Officials would be able to visit the registered addresses of those who arrive in the U.K. as marked on their arrival card to make sure they were adhering to quarantine measures. Anyone found to not be abiding by the quarantine measures could be subject to a fine.

Featured photo by Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images.

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