Inside Heathrow's Precautions Against Coronavirus
London's Heathrow Airport is working to prevent the spread of coronavirus by implementing several precautionary measures.
The highly-frequented transportation hub has closed Terminal 3 and, starting Sunday, relocated airlines from Terminal 4, including Air France, KLM, and Etihad Airways. All flights from these terminals will be temporarily relocated to Terminals 2 or 5, according to the airport. Passengers should check their online terminal finder before heading to the airport.
For passengers who are still flying out of Heathrow, the airport has implemented social distancing measures, including blocking off certain seats and implementing signs that tell people to keep their distance from each other. Additionally, more than 600 hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed, including by security areas.
The moves come as the UK has recorded more than 187,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including more than 28,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the virus.
“The welfare of our colleagues and passengers is always our No. 1 priority,” Paul Farmer, the senior airport operations manager for Heathrow, said in an address posted to the airport’s website.
While social distancing is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the airport's Chief Executive, John Holland-Kaye, said that it will translate to unimaginably long lines to board large jets.
"Just one jumbo jet would require a queue a kilometer long," Holland-Kaye wrote in the Daily Telegraph, according to Sky News. Instead, he suggested measures like airport hygiene and mandatory health checks for passengers.
Several airlines have grappled with how to safely restart travel as countries begin to ease restrictions. Budget airline EasyJet, for example, is looking at nixing middle seats to promote social distancing, while Delta, United, and JetBlue are all requiring passengers to wear face masks while traveling.
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