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12th Jun 2020

Dublin Airport announces new measures to protect against Covid-19

James Fenton

DAA, the company that operates Dublin Airport, has announced a series of measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Dublin Airport, as well as Cork Airport which is also operated by DAA, will likely see an increase in passenger activity as Covid-19 lockdown measures continue to ease. DAA says that the new measures ‘reflect Ireland’s national COVID-19 guidelines and also best practice in the European aviation sector.’

The next time you visit Cork or Dublin Airport, the following health and safety measures will be in place:

Face Masks/Face Coverings

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.

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 airport and most will be in situ 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
Only passengers should enter the terminal building. If you are meeting an arriving passenger or seeing off someone who is travelling please do not come into 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 Dublin and Cork 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.

Social Distancing 
Socially distanced and simplified queue management systems have been put in place in all areas of the 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 through 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.

Cleaning processes have been enhanced to reflect COVID-19. 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 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.

Protective Screens
About 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.

Car Parking
Passengers are recommended to 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 by contactless at the pay station up to 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.

Speaking about the new measures, DAA Chief Executive Dalton Philips 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.”

Passenger numbers at both airports declined by 99% during the peak of the crisis and are currently down 98% compared to the same period last year. The government is currently advising against all non-essential overseas travel.