Monday, May 25, 2020

Distancing measures in place at airport, difficult on planes

Nagpur: Amid uncertainty till the last moment, Nagpur airport is ready to shift to hands-free mode from Monday, when domestic flights are set to begin.
Touching will be avoided from the point where CISF personnel check tickets at the entrance till the security clearance area. Passengers will not be allowed to reach the airport more than 4 hours before the flight, though checking will start as usual 2 hours before flight departure.
However, even if strict protocol is maintained at the airports, sources in some airlines said distancing will only depend on the load on the flight on a given day.

“If the bookings are more, three passengers will be seated in a row, as usual. If not, then be enough spacing will be ensured,” said an official of a private carrier at Nagpur airport.

Those arriving at Nagpur will have to be quarantined for 14 days if they are expected to stay for a longer duration, said sources. There will be no quarantine for those who can prove that they are on a short visit, said a state government official.

The move to open flights has drawn flak from various quarters. State home minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted — it’s extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in red zone.

As part of new Covid protocol, departing passengers will now have to begin lining up from a little further, near the parking area. Foot marks have been pasted on the ground at a distance of five feet. The spacing will have to be maintained in the queue, said airport director Abid Ruhi.

The entire area was sanitized on Sunday. Ruhi said the luggage will go through a sanitization channel placed near the gates. CISF personnel will check tickets and ID proof from across a transparent acrylic sheet. Before that, passengers will have to undergo thermal scanning themselves.

“There will be no physical check-in and the boarding pass will have to be obtained online. Those not conversant with it will be helped out by airline staff. The passenger may have to either fill up the details on their phone or it may be done at the computers at the airline counters,” he said.
25/05/20 Shishir Arya/Times of India

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