Face masks on flights, duty-free banned and no goodbyes within the airport terminal, says EU aviation regulator

NO more goodbyes inside the terminal and duty-free will be banned on flights, according to new regulations.

The guidelines have been put forward by the aviation regulator European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

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Face masks will also be mandatory on flights, with the recommendation to change them every four hours.

Duty-free sales on board will no longer be allowed and families and friends saying goodbye will not be allowed in the terminal either.

Social distancing rules of 1.5m, additional disinfection stations and "coughing etiquette" are also advised in the 28-page document.

The proposal to leave the middle seat empty won't be implemented, but passengers will need to provide personal details so they can be contacted if anyone on the flight later tests positive for coronavirus.

The new proposals will only apply to EU member states, but the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will be publishing their own guidelines at a later date, according to The Times.

However, the UK rules expect to follow similar measures to those issued by the EU.

Thermal screening and temperature checks at airports will not be enforced, but will instead be followed at the discretion of each airline and their own policy.

Heathrow Airport is currently trialling temperature checks at Terminal 2, which use infrared sensors on passengers travelling through immigration.

Health passports have also been dismissed as a viable way to resume travel, as they are "not supported by existing scientific knowledge".

EasyJet has recently announced the new health measures being introduced as the airline resumes flights in the UK and Europe from June 15.

Crew and passengers will have to wear face masks, while food and drink services will no longer go ahead.

Plastic screens will be put up at check in and boarding to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, and plans will be disinfected every 24 hours.

Some airlines are going further, with Qatar Airways and Emirates making crew wear hazmat suits while working.

Ryanair and British Airways hope to resume flights from July, but have not released their plans to reduce the risk of the virus.

TUI have also outlined the changes in place for hotels, flights and cruises when they resume, with reduced sport games, longer restaurant hours and limited spa and pool access.

Principal of Urban Strategies & Design at architecture firm Gensler, Ian Mulcahey, spoke to Sun Online Travel about how airports will be looking to the future.

He suggested pre-booked food and drink as well as timed security slots could be the norm for passengers going forward.

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