Passengers to have temperature checked at Brussels Airport
Brussels Airport will begin to check passengers’ temperatures later this month as it slowly resumes operations following the coronavirus crisis
From 15 June, everyone entering the airport in Zaventem will be screened by thermal cameras at the main entrance. Anyone displaying a fever will be denied access. A mobile unit will also scan passengers arriving on inbound flights, with airlines expected to pass on details to health authorities to allow contact tracing if necessary.
The systematic temperature checks are part of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) charter for a return to normal operations after Covid-19. Ten airports and travel groups have signed up so far, pledging to work with national authorities and use their experience to help other organisations.
The question is whether lots of people will be inclined to fly straight away. I’m certainly not
“We want to play a frontline role in developing and providing best practices in air transport, to help safeguard public health and rebuild passengers’ trust in this unprecedented crisis,” said Brussels Airport Company CEO Arnaud Feist. “We are looking forward to exchanging information with EASA and being one of the pioneer airports in the safe return to normal aviation operations.”
Anyone over the age of six must wear a face mask in the terminal and on board flights, while non-passengers are not permitted in the airport at all. Other safety measures include an increased cleaning schedule and the provision of hand gel throughout the building.
Passengers are expected to observe social distancing rules, to check in online and to scan their own boarding passes.
Flights starting up gradually
As part of the latest step in its coronavirus exit strategy, Belgium is allowing non-essential cross-border travel within the Schengen area from 15 June, though other countries might choose to maintain their own border restrictions. Brussels Airport expects to serve more than 100 destinations by the end of July: TUI will relaunch its operations on 20 June and Ryanair will follow on 1 July.
Brussels Airlines, like most other operators, will not be reducing flight capacity to allow distancing between passengers when it relaunches its reduced network on 15 June. Occupancy rates will depend on ticket sales, a spokesperson said. Where possible, passengers will be seated at a distance from each other.
“The question is whether lots of people will be inclined to fly straight away. I’m certainly not,” KU Leuven virologist Marc Van Ranst told VRT. “I think many people will go on holiday by car. Then they can stay in their own bubble, and they don’t run the risk of being stuck somewhere if there is a new outbreak of Covid-19.”
Photo ©Brussels Airport Company