AIR TRAVEL DURING COVID-19
Air Travel during Covid-19 has been challenging. There has been an 80% drop in air travel in the UK during the Coronavirus pandemic, with all the major airports reporting a huge drop in passengers as well as massive losses.
However, during the summer and autumn when air corridors opened we saw a large increase in the number of people flying.
For example, when the Canaries reopened in October 2020, Ryan Air’s target was 2,000 bookings a day. Their target exceeded to 28,000 bookings on the first day and 25,000 the second. Ryan Air added extra flights to the Canaries within 24 hours.
This gives an indication of the extent of pent-up flying demand and there is enormous desire to travel again. On the 2nd Dec 2020 the public was officially informed that the UK is the first country to have a Covid-19 vaccine. By 2021 more people will be vaccinated and travel will start getting back to normal. This means people will feel safer traveling and there will be a large amount of air travel with an expected increase in short‑haul flights.
Air Travel During Covid-19 Airport Restrictions
While some of the major airports in the UK have specific restrictions, there are many rules that don’t differ amongst airports:
- Face coverings – all passengers aged 11 and older are required to wear face coverings at all times within terminal buildings. Face coverings will not be mandatory for anyone with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering
- All front-line staff wear face masks or visors
- Passenger Locator Form – all arriving passengers are required to fill in a Passenger Locator Form before re-entering the UK within 48 hours of their arrival. You may be asked to present confirmation of this to a Border Force Officer.
- Clear signs and floor markings have been introduced to help everyone keep a safe distance and guide you through the airport. Only family groups or people travelling together will be able to use the lifts at the same time.
- Hand sanitising dispensers are available throughout the terminals
- All high frequency touch-point areas are being sanitised regularly
- Protective shields have been added where people interact such as check-in desks and tills
- To limit the number of people inside the airport, only passengers can enter the airport or if you are helping a passenger who needs special assistance
- Seating arrangements have been changed to ensure social distancing measures can be observed. However, families and groups travelling together will be able to sit together
- In some areas of airports one-way systems have been put in place
- Thermal imaging is currently being trialled at some airports with cameras carrying out temperature checks at the terminal entrance
- You will hear in-terminal announcements and see plenty of signage and digital reminders whilst in the airport terminal
- Enhanced cleaning regimes including the use of the most advanced disinfectant spraying methods have been implemented throughout airports
DO NOT VISIT the airport if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have a high temperature.
Generally, check-in times have not changed but Executive Swift Travel will confirm this with you before your airport pickup in Cardiff or South Wales.
Guidance for Air Travellers
As you travel through the airport to help protect fellow flyers and airport staff these guidelines should be followed:
- Wash your hands well and often with soap and water or use hand sanitisers provided
- Wear face coverings throughout the airport
- Use floor markings to adhere to social distancing when you are at the airport
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing and discard the used tissue
- Make contact-less payments where possible, pre-book services before you travel and check-in online with your airline
Heathrow Airport has introduced pre-departure testing facilities. Heathrow, Swissport and Collinson have announced the launch of pre-departure testing facilities in Terminals 2 and 5.