Public Health Risk Mitigation Measures

These public health risk mitigation measures are divided into two sections. 


The first section contains generally applicable risk mitigation measures that apply in all phases of air passenger and cargo transport. 


The second section describes modules, attached to this appendix, that are specific to various aspects of air transport. 


In the implementation of these measures, care should be taken to follow all applicable laws, regulations, requirements, standards, and guidance issued by relevant sub-national, national and international authorities. Nothing in these guidelines is intended to supersede or contradict such requirements. 

Generally applicable risk mitigation measures 

Public Education: 

States and stakeholders must work together to distribute accurate information quickly. Information must be as clear, simple and consistent as possible across the entire passenger travel experience. 


Physical Distancing: 

To the extent feasible, people should be able to maintain social distancing consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) or applicable State health guidelines. Where this distancing is not feasible (for example in aircraft cabins), adequate risk-based measures should be used. 


Face Covering and Mask: 

Face coverings should be worn, consistent with applicable public health guidelines. The type of face covering (non-medical or medical) should be selected based on the level of risk and the availability of masks while taking into consideration the potential risks and disadvantages of using masks. Medical face masks must be prioritized for use as personal protective equipment by healthcare workers and symptomatic persons suspected of being infected with COVID-19. In all instances, best practices should be followed about when and how to wear, remove, replace, and dispose of them, as well as hand hygiene after removal. 


Routine Sanitation: 

All areas with potential for human contact and transmission should be cleaned and disinfected as prescribed by public health authorities with frequency based on operational risk assessment. 


Health Screening: 

States should ensure that health screening is conducted in accordance with the protocols of the relevant health authorities. Screening could include pre-flight and post-flight self-declarations, temperature measurement and visual observation conducted by health professionals. Such a screening could identify potentially high-risk persons that may require additional examination prior to working or flying. The availability of such information and insights can be leveraged to adopt a risk-based approach which will further contribute to reassure the travelling public. This screening may be conducted upon entry and/or exit. If a person shows signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or indicates exposure to COVID-19 appropriate follow up would be necessary, including a focused health assessment performed by healthcare personnel either in a dedicated interview space at an airport, or in an offsite pre-identified health care facility. 


Contact Tracing: 

Methods for the collection of passenger and employee contact information should be explored, including web applications, to support public health authorities in contact tracing. Updated contact information should be requested as part of the health self-declaration and interaction between passengers and governments should be made directly though government portals. This should be in line with applicable data privacy protection rules. 


Health Declarations: 

Where feasible and justified, health declaration forms for COVID-19 should be used for all passengers, in line with the recommendations of relevant health authorities. Self declarations prior to airport arrival should also be encouraged. Electronic tools should be encouraged to avoid paper forms. 


Testing: 

At the time of publication, rapid tests cannot be a precondition for travel due to their unreliability or impracticability. It is therefore recommended that States refrain from requiring rapid tests for the time being. It should be noted that the rapid testing of all passengers prior to departure would not be operationally viable unless more real-time, rapid and reliable testing becomes available. 

Risk mitigation measures applicable in specific modules 

Airport 

The airport module contains specific guidance addressing elements for: Airport terminal building, cleaning, disinfecting, and hygiene, physical distancing, staff protection, access, check-in area, security screening, airside areas, gate installations, passenger transfer, disembarking, baggage claim and arrivals areas. 


Aircraft 

The aircraft module contains specific guidance addressing boarding processes, seat assignment processes, baggage, interaction on board, environmental control systems, food and beverage service, lavatory access, crew protection, management of sick passengers or crew members, and cleaning and disinfection of the flight deck, cabin, and cargo compartment. 


Crew

In order to promote safe and sustainable international air travel, a closely coordinated international approach to the treatment of air crews, consistent with recognized public health standards, will be essential to alleviate burdens on critical transportation workers. These currently include screening, quarantine requirements, and immigration restrictions that apply to other travellers. The attached crew module contains specific guidance addressing the contact of a crew member with a suspected or positive COVID-19 case, reporting for duty, dedicated end-to-end crew layover best practices, crew members experiencing COVID-19 symptoms during layover, and positioning of crew. 


Cargo 

Cargo flight crews should apply the same health and safety considerations as passenger flight crews and are collectively included in the crew section of this document. Whilst air cargo consignments do not come into contact with the travelling public, the cargo acceptance and hand over process does include interaction with non-airport employees. The Cargo Module addresses aviation public health including physical distancing, personal sanitation, protective barriers point of transfer to the ramp and the loading and unloading, and other mitigation procedures.


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