EU unveils guidelines for travel, tourism
The European Commission unveiled a series of measures aimed at ensuring people can start traveling safely across the continent again as governments try to revive tourism and airline industries brought to a halt by the coronavirus.
Below are the general guidelines for air, rail, water and road travel and steps for each mode of transport:
* Passengers will be encouraged to buy tickets, reserve seats and check in online.
* Passengers should wear facemasks, especially where physical distancing measures cannot be fully observed at all times. These do not need to be medical masks.
* Physical distancing should be ensured at security checks and luggage drop-off and collection.
* Dedicated lanes should be set up to keep passenger flows separate at ports, airports, train stations, bus stops, ferry landings and urban public transport hubs.
* Hubs should remove facilities that encourage crowding, such as benches, tables or, rearrange them to ensure distancing.
* Fewer passengers may be allowed on board buses, trains or ferries, and passengers who are not from the same household may be seated apart.
* Transport staff should have adequate protective equipment.
* Sanitizing/disinfecting gel should be available and vehicles cleaned and disinfected regularly.
* Food, drinks and other goods may no longer be on sale on board.
* Duty-free shops and other travel retailers should control passenger movement with floor markers and restrict customer numbers, boost cleaning and set up barriers at till points among other measures.
* Contact tracing and warning measures with the use of mobile apps could be used on a voluntary basis. Such apps should be able to function across borders.
Protocols will be outlined by regulators in the next few weeks and should include:
* Ventilation should be strengthened, with hospital-grade air filtering and vertical airflow.
* Movement needs to be reduced in the cabin, such as less cabin baggage, fewer interactions with the crew.
* Passenger flows should be managed with early arrival times at the airport; prioritizing electronic/self-check-in; minimizing contacts at baggage drop-offs, security and border control points, boarding, and during baggage collection.
* Preordering of on-board services and meals should be, where possible, done at the time of booking.
* Terminals, rest areas along motorways, parking, fuelling and charging stations should maintain high levels of hygiene.
* At stations, passenger flow should be managed. [Reuters]