Summary of the Main Changes in Edition 2 of the EASA/ ECDC COVID-19 Operational Guidelines for the Management of Passengers
At all times
To ensure that passengers arriving at the airport and boarding flights are aware of, and adhere to, the preventive measures put in place in order to ensure a safe and healthy environment for air travellers and staff aviation personnel at all times.
Airport floor markings
Reference to airport floor markings changed from “1.5m” to “at least 1.5m”.
Previous section on Immunity Passports was updated and moved to Annex 1.
Disposal of face masks
Clarified wording that passengers should be also instructed on the procedures for the safe and hygienic disposal of used face masks: no-touch bins should be available at the airport, and waste bags should be available on board and during disembarkation.
Disposal of waste materials
Waste materials that were in direct contact with passengers, airport staff or aircrew members, including partially consumed meals, beverages and disposable items such as used paper towels, tissues and personal protective equipment (PPE) produced while treating or supporting passengers or aircrew members, should be treated in accordance with the applicable international guidance (IATA & WHO) or, where available, national guidance, giving proper consideration to the cases where a symptomatic passenger, airport staff or aircrew member is present at the airport or on board the aircraft.
Security agents doing body searches
Security check agents performing body checks should change their gloves after each passenger.
Airport maintenance and repair work
Maintenance and repair work in public areas should be prioritised and their schedule adjusted or possibly postponed if it is non-essential.
Before arriving at the airport
To reduce the chance that any passenger with COVID-19 -compatible symptoms ARRIVES at the airport. To ensure that passengers arriving at the airport are aware of, and adhere to, the preventive measures put in place.
Clearer statement about check-in
In order to reduce contact with the airport staff and infrastructure, aircraft operators in coordination with airport operators should encourage passengers as much as possible to complete the check-in process before arriving at the airport using the online check-in, mobile or printed boarding pass and where possible off airport baggage tagging.
Passenger acknowledgement of COVID-19 information
Passengers should receive information about COVID-19 symptoms and the risk of possible contact with COVID-19 cases and be requested to acknowledge reading this information and sign or electronically authenticate an acknowledgement. This should be done in advance of the flight, preferably prior to the arrival at the airport, during the online check-in process or via a text message (SMS) link, or other means acceptable to the national authorities. Requirement for this to be no longer than 24 hours in advance of the flight has been removed.
Acknowledgment of airline’s COVID-19 policy
In line with the applicable data protection requirements, passengers should read and understand the aircraft operator’s COVID-19 policy preferably before the arrival at the airport during the online check-in process or via an a text message (SMS) link, or other means acceptable to the national authorities. An example of such statement can be found in Annex 2 ‘Acknowledgment of COVID-19 policy’ in the Guidelines.
At the departure airport
To reduce the residual risk of virus transmission from potential asymptomatic contagious passengers. To reduce the residual risk of any infected passenger boarding an aircraft.
Airport cleaning and disinfection procedures
The procedure should be updated in terms of process, schedule and products, when new information becomes available. Cleaning staff should be made aware of the updates to ensure the updated procedure is adhered to.
Clearer statement on protective screens
Where airport/aircraft operator staff interact with passengers from a fixed location, such as check-in counters, ticketing, passport control, and information desks, protective screens should be installed in such a way as to allow the handover of the documents required but protect staff from the respiratory droplets of passengers and vice versa.
Reference to embarkation by walking in a spaced manner has been removed and normal physical distancing rules apply.
Disinfection dispenser at aircraft steps
Removed from the guidelines.
Onboard the aircraft
To reduce the residual risk of virus transmission in an aircraft, in the event an asymptomatic passenger is onboard the aircraft.
Guidance on wearing masks
New paragraph introduced about masks onboard. Aircraft operators should regularly inform the passengers that they should wear face masks during the entire flight and until they exit the destination airport, and should not remove their masks if it is not necessary. The face mask should be close to the face, covering the nose and mouth completely. When the face mask is on or being removed, the outer layer of the face mask must not be touch to avoid hand contamination. Furthermore, the aircraft operators should inform the passengers that disposed face masks should be properly disposed of and not be randomly thrown away on the cabin floor or placed in the seat covers.
Disinfection of oxygen-dispensing equipment
Should oxygen-dispensing equipment (i.e. therapeutic oxygen, drop-down oxygen masks and quick donning masks) be used during the flight, this should be thoroughly disinfected afterwards.
Additional statement that “Alcoholic drinks should be avoided”.
Crew members handling suspected COVID-19 infected passengers
Additional statement added. In coordination with the public health authorities, the respective crew members may be considered safe for the reminder of their duty period but no longer than 48 hours after the first contact with the symptomatic passenger and after thorough personal hygiene and change of uniform or of the single use protective suite, if such suite was used.
Disposal of waste materials
If a passenger or cabin crew member exhibit COVID-19-compatible symptoms, all waste materials including partially consumed meals, beverages and disposable items such as used paper towels, tissues and PPE produced while treating or supporting the symptomatic passenger or the cabin crew member(s) that has (have) been in close contact with them should be treated in accordance with the applicable international guidance (IATA &WHO) or, where available, national guidance, as specified in Section 3.1.
Arriving and transit passengers
To reduce the residual risk of infection for passengers at the arrival airport and/or in the destination region, should an infected person have been on a flight or at the airport.
Reference to disembarkation by walking in a spaced manner has been removed and normal physical distancing rules apply.
New Section on Transfer Passengers added. Where transfer security screening is required, it should follow appropriate sanitary requirements as described for the departure process. “One-stop” health screening arrangements should be developed using existing one-stop security arrangements as a model. In this model, passengers and property are not rescreened at transfer locations based on the mutual recognition of security measures between the States in the travel itinerary. A similar arrangement for health screening procedures may prevent unnecessary queuing points at passenger transfer locations.
Passenger Locater Card (PLC)
Additional information added. Where electronic systems are available and accepted by the national public health authorities, aircraft operators should ensure that passengers are required to fill in their data for contact-tracing purposes before their boarding passes are issued. Furthermore, national public health authorities and aircraft operators should ensure that passengers are not allowed to travel if the required data is not registered in the respective electronic system.
Additional information added. To limit gathering of passengers, airport operators and/or any stakeholder involved in the delivery of baggage handling service such as GHSPs, airlines or relevant service providers should maximise use of the available arrival baggage carousels and, where possible, use dedicated baggage carousels for flights from high-risk areas (as assessed by the local public health authorities at arrival airport). The use of baggage delivery services, where the passenger’s baggage can be delivered directly to their hotel or home, should be encouraged. Baggage tracking information should be shared with passengers so that they are able to make a baggage claim, in the event of baggage mishandling, without waiting in the reclaim area.
Management of aviation personnel
To reduce the residual risk of infection of aviation personnel from passengers or vice versa, and avoid duplication of procedures.
Disinfection of common use equipment
New part added. Equipment of common use used by aviation personnel such as computers, tablets, radio stations, headsets, etc. should be disinfected before being used by another staff member.
Handovers for shift workers
New recommendations for handovers. For staff working shifts, handovers should be conducted in a contact-free manner, i.e. via telephone, videoconference, electronic logs, or as a minimum through physical distancing.
- Staff Training: New recommendation that staff training should maximise the use of online training and virtual