DAA Announces New Health And Safety Measures For Dublin And Cork Airports
The owner of Dublin and Cork airports, DAA, has announced a number of new measures to help protect the health of passengers and staff at both airports.
DAA stated that the measures, which will apply from Tuesday June 16, reflect Ireland's national COVID-19 guidelines as well as best practice in the European aviation sector, as set out in the recent guidelines devised by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
DAA is strongly recommending that all passengers at Dublin and Cork airports wear face masks or face coverings at all times when inside airport buildings or in car park shuttle buses. This recommendation applies to both arriving and departing passengers. In line with Irish government guidelines, children under the age of 13 will not be asked to wear face masks and passengers who have a valid medical reason for not wearing a face mask will also be exempt.
DAA said that passengers should bring their own face mask from home, but if they forget to do so, masks will be available for purchase at the airport. Ten dedicated face mask vending machines are being installed at Dublin and Cork airports and most will be in place by the end of next week. Masks will also be available in a large number of existing vending machines.
DAA is also strongly recommending that its employees at Dublin and Cork airports wear face masks in all situations in which social distancing is not possible or difficult.
Limited Entry to Terminals
DAA is advising that only passengers should enter terminal buildings, and that anyone who is meeting an arriving passenger or seeing off someone who is travelling should enter the terminal. This is in line with current EASA guidelines.
Dublin and Cork airports will continue to encourage proper hand hygiene with multiple hand sanitising units at locations throughout both airports for the use of passengers and staff. Signage will encourage passengers to wash their hands frequently and properly with either soap and water or hand sanitising gel. The two airports will have more than 960 hand sanitising units, all of which will be clearly identifiable.
Socially distanced and simplified queue management systems have been put in place in all areas of both airports. There are floor graphics and signage throughout Dublin and Cork airports to remind passengers of the importance of physical distancing. Public address announcements, reminding passengers to observe the physical distancing guidelines set out by Ireland's Department of Health, are also being broadcast at frequent intervals.
Socially distanced seating is in place throughout both airports in areas such as boarding gates and food and beverage outlets. This will mean that certain seats will be blocked off to ensure that social distancing can be maintained. Signage to indicate the maximum number of people permitted in bathrooms and lifts has also been installed.
There will be regular deep cleaning and disinfection regimes in both airports. All key contact surfaces such as security trays, self-service kiosks, escalator handrails, and trolleys will undergo enhanced regular cleaning. There will also be a specific focus on any areas where passengers might dwell.
Modern electrostatic disinfection techniques are being used in many areas, and DAA said that it will have 60 separate pieces of electrostatic cleaning equipment. Electrostatic cleaning uses a special spray which is electrically charged, and this enables the sanitisers and disinfectants in the spray to wrap around and evenly coat all types of surfaces for a much more complete and longer lasting clean.
Approximately 720 plexiglass screens are being installed at close contact points throughout both airports. There will be new plexiglass screens in areas such as check-in, security screening, retail and food & beverage outlets, customer service desks, boarding gates, and US Customs and Border Protection.
DAA is recommending that passengers pre-book car parking online in advance. Contactless pay machines and entry columns are located in all car parks. Pre-booked customers can simply tap or insert their payment card on arrival at the car park and on exit.
Customers who have not booked online in advance can also use a contactless tap facility or insert their card upon arrival to car parks. If they take a ticket, they can pay contactless at the pay station up to a limit of €99. Social distancing measures will be in place on car park shuttle buses and face masks are strongly recommended to be worn during the bus journey.
"DAA's Main Priority"
Commenting on the new healthy and safety measures, DAA chief executive Dalton Phillips said, "The safety of our passengers, our employees and all the other staff that work at Dublin and Cork airports is always DAA's main priority and we will never compromise on that.
"Our enhanced measures are based on a series of risk assessments that we have undertaken in recent weeks, coupled with the respective national and European guidelines. Our airline partners have also introduced new health and safety measures, and we will continue to work with them to protect passengers through their entire journey."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.