London,
07
May
2020
|
13:04
Europe/London

MAG airports to ask passengers to wear face coverings from today

Summary
  • The new guidance will be for all passengers departing or arriving through MAG’s three airports.
  •  Passengers will be asked to wear gloves and also cover their faces, either with face masks or their own clothing.
  •  The move is designed to demonstrate one way in which air travel can be made safe as passenger numbers start to grow again in the future.

Passengers travelling through MAG’s three airports at Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands will be asked to cover their faces and wear gloves from today. The airports are 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, the airport will provide gloves and masks 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 MAG’s airports 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 will wear gloves and face masks from today, and all staff working for airport partners will be encouraged to
  • MAG 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.

Charlie Cornish, Group CEO, MAG, 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.

“MAG has been working with the rest of the airport 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.

“At MAG we’ve 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.”