The EU has issued new guidelines for air travel to ensure the safety of passengers and personnel when airlines resume normal flights after the disruption caused by COVID-19.

“Passengers are recommended to practice distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and use medical face masks, and to declare their COVID-19-related status before receiving their boarding pass,” said the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in a report issued late Wednesday.

“Passengers will also be asked to provide contact information to allow for ‘track and trace’ if someone on a particular flight later tests positive for COVID-19,” it added.

In the report, the agencies said high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters show good performance against COVID-19 particles.

“Aeroplane operators using the recirculation of cabin air are recommended either to install and use HEPA filters, according to the manufacturer’s specifications, or to avoid the use of cabin air recirculation entirely provided it is confirmed that this will not compromise any safety critical functions (e.g. avionics cooling, cabin pressurisation etc.),” said the report.

“Aeroplane operators and airport operators should collaborate to ensure that passengers are not kept on board of an aircraft without proper ventilation for longer than 30 minutes.”

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