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What changes we may see when travelling after COVID-19 pandemic ?

A few days ago, the EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) and ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control) published a set of rules for air travel: COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol.

Because most of you don't have enough time to consult it, here are the most important changes that we should expect in the near future when we want to travel.

What changes you may see in the airport?

Once arrived at the airport, your temperature will be measured. If you are over 38 degrees, your temperature is measured again, and if it will give the same result, you will be redirected to the airports medical office.

We may not see people wandering around, because access to airport terminals could be limited to passengers, accompanying persons (in some conditions), crew members and staff only.

What will be mandatory however will be physical distancing of 1.5 metres, whenever possible in the airport and wearing a mask from the moment you enter the airport, until you exit the door of the destination airport. The only times you have to take off your mask are security checks and passport control. Exempt from this rule will be the children under the age of 6 and people with various health problems. Even if the airlines should (on long flights) have enough masks on board to provide to passengers if they remain without (most probably not for free), it will be best to make sure you have enough to cover you for the whole flight, since theoretically, the medicinal masks should be changed every 3-4 hours.

Check-in should be done online, as much as possible, and when handing over your luggages, you should use the self-service counters. Self service counters are very easy to use: you scan your identity documents by yourself, the boarding pass, you put the luggage on the scale, get the luggage tag from the counter, you stick it the luggage and you hand over the luggage.

You will also be asked to fill a statement where you declare that you didn't had symptoms of the disease, you have not come into contact with any people diagnosed with COVID-19, that you are not in quarantine, and so on.

What changes you may see when boarding?

We may see some changes here too, even though some of them should have been in place even before the pandemic. If buses are used in the boarding process, we could see an increased quantity in order for passanger to be able to keep a disctance between them and if boarding is performed using
a boarding bridge, the boarding will be made by rows starting with the furthest row from the aircraft doors used in the embarkation process or, alternatively, all window seats, then middle seats, followed by aisle seats.

What changes you may see on board?

From safety demonstrations changed in order to tell passengers they should remove their face masks before using the aircraft oxygen masks to no duty-free shopping and no non-essential products on board, in order to lighten the hand luggages as much as possible. Also if there will be enough seats left free in the aircraft, airlines should ensure, to the extent possible, physical distancing among passengers (exception here are family members).

What changes you may see on disembarking ?

The recommandations on disembarkation are to be performed by rows starting with the closest rows to the exits in use, in the order aisle, middle and window seats to ensure physical distancing and avoid queuing.

In the airport, mostly the same recommandations apply as to when you left.

These are a few of the recommendations made by the authorities. I would say that theres nothing difficult to accomplish. Indeed, the whole process of traveling will take longer, it will be more difficult, but these are the times we live in.

This guide is ony valid on flights operated within the EU, but, most likely, such decisions will be taken internationally.

If you want to consult the full guide, you can do that here.