Passengers travelling through London Stansted will be asked to cover their faces and wear gloves from today. The new guidance comes from the airport’s owner, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which is also trialing 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.
Passengers are being encouraged 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 in the airport. Staff will also be on hand to guide passengers and help them navigate through the usual security processes while wearing protective equipment.
The move by MAG is designed to ensure that the small number of passengers currently making essential journeys through its airports feel safer and more confident about flying, as well as providing a further level of protection to colleagues working at the airport. MAG also believes that the new guidelines represent a first step towards demonstrating ways in which air travel can be safe when more passengers start travelling again.
At present, with few flights and passengers at the airport, social distancing is practiced in Stansted’s terminal and the new guidelines will not change that. However, in the future, face coverings and gloves may form an important part of operating a busier airport terminal safely. The pilot scheme will therefore provide valuable feedback and set a path towards a new minimum standard for safe international travel.
In addition to the new guidelines for passengers:
– All MAG colleagues serving passengers at London Stansted will wear gloves and face masks from today, and all staff working for airport partners will be encouraged to follow suit.
– London Stansted will 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 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.