The International Civil Aviation Organization has announced a series of health recommendations for the airline industry as airlines relaunches air travel. The new protocols were drafted by an international task force formed by the ICAO and UN agencies.
The World Health Organization and the powerful International Air Transport Association (IATA) also assisted in the health recommendations.
The proposed guidelines will facilitate COVID-19 related measures for airlines across the world. Philippe Bertoux a representative on ICAO’s board said the changes being proposed important for air travel are the most stringent since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
The recommendations — adopted Monday by the ICAO and are intended to serve as a “framework” for assuring the safety of passengers and workers on planes and at airports.
Health Certificates for Air Passengers
Upon arrival at airports, travelers should present a health certificate and undergo an initial temperature check, under the guidelines. Online check-in before arriving at the airport should also be given priority. Furthermore passages passing through security should be re-thought to limit physical contact and wait lines.
Mobile tickets are advised, as well as other forms of no-contact technology, such as facial or eye scans.
“This will eliminate or greatly reduce the need for contact with travel documents between staff and passengers,” the protocol said.
Passengers are also encouraged to travel as light as possible. With just one small piece of hand luggage. Even more newspapers and magazines will no longer be allowed on board. Furthermore duty-free sales should also be limited.
The wearing of a mask should be obligatory inside aircraft and terminals. Also social distancing of at least one meter between passengers should be respected. Terminal access should also be limited to passengers and their companions. Also those accompanying disabled travelers, and airport personnel.
Aboard planes, passengers should wear masks, move as little as possible within the cabin, and not line up outside toilets to lessen the risk of infecting other passengers. People will be assigned specific toilet stalls on the plane in relation to where they are seated.
Flight attendants should be provided with personal protective equipment which includes visors, gloves and masks.
No Covid-19 Social Distancing Inside Aircraft
The ICAO guideline report also didn’t advocate leaving every other seat open to assure covid-19 social distancing. A restriction that most if not all airlines sees as a threat to its profitability. The organization, nevertheless, asks passengers to remain as far from one another as possible.
It also advocates that food on board be pre-packaged and that aircraft be regularly disinfected. Temperature checks should also be taken on a flight’s arrival.
These measures aren’t obligatory and are only suggested measures will facilitate a safe air travel. The ICAO estimates that the pandemic will reduce the number of air passengers by 1.5 billion by the end of the year.
Thailand to Allow International Air Travel
Thailand’s government has set July 1st for the lifting of all business lockdowns and the re-opening of international travel. Security officials say all businesses and activities will be allowed to resume fully in July.
The lifting will also include interprovincial and international travel, as well as the end of emergency decree.
NSC secretary-general Gen Somsak Rungsita said the lift of restrictions would be a complete reopening of the country. Officials would next month prepare health recommendations and measures for the reopening.
People’s cooperation is important. This concerns the use of face masks, social distancing, hand wash and limited activities. As long as the disease is spreading worldwide, we will have to fight against it for a while” he said.