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Published on Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Toilet access on flights should be limited, says UN body


New guidance issued by the International Civil Aviation Organisation says passengers should have restricted access to toilets as airlines start to relaunch flights.

One toilet should be set aside for crew and passengers should use a designated WC based on their seat number, said the UN body.

Ryanair has already said that it will ban queuing for toilets, with passengers forced to ask crew for permission to use the lavatory.

Food and drink services should also be suspended or limited on short-haul flights or sold in pre-sealed packs, said ICAO.

Duty-free sales should be temporarily limited as part of the wide-ranging coronavirus safety recommendations, it added.

ICAO hasn't insisted on social-distancing on planes, but it said passengers should be seated separately 'when occupancy allows it'.

Hand luggage should be limited to a small bag per passenger, which can be stowed under the seat, and newspapers and magazines should be removed.

In general, face masks should be worn in line with public health guidelines, and social distancing should be made possible where it is feasible, the UN body said.

It is recommending that all areas are routinely cleaned and that passengers are checked for signs of coronavirus, including measures such as temperature screening. Contact tracing methods should also be explored, it said.

At airports, staff should have adequate personal protective equipment, which 'could include gloves, medical masks, goggles or a face shield, and gowns or aprons'.

Passengers should be encouraged to check-in before arriving at the airport and to use mobile boarding passes.

Airports should also use contactless technology, including facial and iris scanning, for self-service bag drops, various queue access, boarding gates and retail and duty-free outlets, the guidelines added.
"This will eliminate or greatly reduce the need for contact with travel documents between staff and passengers," the UN agency said.

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  • Unworkable?

    The sentiments are good but such restrictions are sure to be almost unworkable in reality. The planning and execution of all these measures would surely be a logistical nightmare.

    By Keith Standen, Wednesday, June 3, 2020

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