The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have updated the Aviation Health Safety Protocol, which advises European states and industry on the progressive de-escalation of protective measures aimed at limiting the risk of Covid-19 infection during air travel.
The guidance now advises the alignment of mask-wearing rules at airports and on board aircraft with national rules on public transportation both in arrival and departure states. The organizations also recommend the removal of physical distancing requirements within terminals and other airport areas where national and regional regulations permit and where their implementation would cause congestion elsewhere in the facility.
The protocol also advises that where health checks and testing requirements do remain in place, states should implement ‘one-stop’ arrangements to avoid duplication between departure, transit and arrival processes.
Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe, commented, “Over the past two years, the EASA-ECDC Aviation Health Safety Protocol has been essential to ensure risk-based and uniform Covid-19 protective measures for air travel across Europe. This remains the case with today’s update, with guidelines that continue to be effective, proportionate and practical – and which reflect the fact that an increasing number of states no longer mandate wearing face masks nor social distancing for travel.
“This new guidance marks another step in the safe recovery of European aviation and tourism, just as demand is fast increasing and prospects for the summer look very positive. It will make the travel experience much more pleasant and should also help to ease operations – while keeping passengers and staff safe. I would like to thank EASA and the ECDC for their continued engagement with ACI Europe and the rest of the industry. We urge all European states to follow and implement these guidelines.”