LONDON (Reuters) – The European Commission unveiled a series of measures aimed at ensuring that people can start traveling safely across the continent again as governments try to revive tourism and the airline industries halted by the coronavirus.
FILE PHOTO: A woman sits on the beach in Peraia as Greece gradually begins to ease the national blockade due to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Thessaloniki, Greece, May 5, 2020. REUTERS / Murad Sezer
Below are the general guidelines for air, rail, water and road transport and the steps for each mode of transport:
* Passengers will be encouraged to purchase tickets, reserve seats, and register online.
* Passengers must wear face masks, especially where physical distance measurements cannot be fully observed at all times. They do not need to be medical masks.
* The physical distance must be guaranteed at the security controls and in the delivery and collection of luggage.
* Dedicated lanes should be established to keep passenger flows separate at ports, airports, train stations, bus stops, ferry landings, and urban public transportation hubs.
* Centers should eliminate overcrowding facilities, such as benches, tables, or reorganize them to ensure distance.
* Fewer passengers may be allowed aboard buses, trains, or ferries, and non-household passengers may be separated.
* Transportation personnel must have adequate protective equipment.
* Disinfectant / disinfectant gel must be available and vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
* Food, drinks and other goods can no longer be for sale on board.
* Duty-free stores and other travel retailers must monitor passenger movement with floor markers and restrict the number of customers, increase cleaning, and establish barriers at points of sale, among other measures.
* Contact tracking and warning measures with the use of mobile applications could be used on a voluntary basis. Such apps should be able to work across borders.
Regulators will outline the protocols in the coming weeks and should include:
* Ventilation should be strengthened, with hospital grade air filtration and vertical air flow.
* Movement should be reduced in the cabin, such as less cabin luggage, less interactions with the crew.
* Passenger flows must be managed with early arrival times at the airport; prioritize electronic / auto check-in; minimizing contacts in baggage delivery, security points and border control, boarding and during baggage collection.
* The advance order for services and meals on board should be made, when possible, at the time of booking.
* Terminals, rest areas along freeways, parking lots, fuel and charging stations must maintain high standards of hygiene.
* At stations, passenger flow must be managed.
* When adequate levels of public health cannot be guaranteed, the closure of stops or stations should be considered.
BUS AND COACH:
* Tailgate approach and use of windows should be used for ventilation rather than air conditioning.
* Seats should be arranged whenever possible for families to sit together, while non-riders should be separated.
* In minibuses, passengers should not be allowed to sit next to the driver unless physical separation is possible.
* If possible, passengers should handle their own luggage.
* The frequency and capacity of trains should be increased if necessary to reduce passenger density.
* Rail operators must implement mandatory seat reservations on long-distance and regional trains.
* For short distance trips, passengers must leave their seats empty between them, except passengers from the same household.
* Rail operators must use passenger counting systems, especially on commuter and suburban trains, to manage capacity.
* Passenger flow should be managed at closed stations and stops if adequate levels of public health cannot be guaranteed.
* Travel outside of peak hours should be encouraged with incentives, such as adjusted prices or flexible working hours for commuter trains, to avoid overcrowding.
* The driver must open the doors at each stop automatically or remotely.
Report by Josephine Mason; Editing by Keith Weir