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Manchester Airport to require passengers to wear gloves and faces coverings

Manchester Airport today (07 May 2020) released further details of new measures it is bringing in for passengers and staff.

From 2pm today, people travelling through the Airport will be asked to cover their faces and wear gloves.

The new guidance comes from the airport’s owner, MAG, as part of a wider pilot of measures aimed at working towards a new standard for safe international travel.

The measures are being brought in at all three of MAG’s airports, making them 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.

All flights are currently operating from Terminal One at Manchester and dedicated stations are in place to provide gloves and masks in both arrivals and departure areas.

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 Manchester Airport’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 Manchester Airport will wear gloves and face masks from today, and all staff working for airport partners will be encouraged to
  • Manchester Airport 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 worked with the rest of the airport industry on a new safety framework for travel. We now need the Government to work urgently with us 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.”

Brad Miller, Chief Operating Officer at Manchester Airport, said: “We will always put the safety of our colleagues and customers first. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been running our operations in line with guidance from Public Health England.

“What we are starting to pilot from today are measures that will help us understand how we work towards running a busier airport again in the future.

“I want to place on record my thanks to all key workers continuing operate a reduced, but vital operation at Manchester, and for their cooperation in supporting these changes.

“Of course, none of this can happen without the support of our customers either, and so I would also like to thank them for their ongoing cooperation in keeping Manchester Airport safe.”

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