Ben-Gurion Airport to unveil new coronavirus travel safety plan

Passengers departing from Terminal 3, the only terminal currently in operation, will be required to arrive four hours ahead of their flights.

A man wearing a mask walks in the departures terminal after Israel said it will require anyone arriving from overseas to self-quarantine for 14 days as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus, at Ben Gurion International airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel March 10, 2020.  (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS)
A man wearing a mask walks in the departures terminal after Israel said it will require anyone arriving from overseas to self-quarantine for 14 days as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus, at Ben Gurion International airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel March 10, 2020.
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS)
Ben-Gurion Airport will roll out new coronavirus safety measures on Thursday, aspiring to create a so-called “corona-free” transportation hub as it prepares for the hopeful return of passengers to its terminals.
 
The safety measures, part of a pilot program for departing passengers, will include permitting only ticket-carrying travelers into the Terminal 3 building, a mandatory temperature check, a mask-wearing requirement and regular disinfecting of facilities.
 
“We attach great importance to preventing infection, enabling employees and passengers to maintain a high level of health safety when arriving at the airport and on their departure and return from abroad,” Ben-Gurion Airport managing-director Shmuel Zakai said.
 
People accompanying the travelers will not be permitted to enter the terminal building. Tickets will be checked at the terminal entrance following online check-in, with passengers required to wear a protective mask and have their temperature checked upon entry.
 
Any passenger with a high temperature will be refused entry, and the relevant airline will be notified, the Israel Aviation Authority (IAA) said. Ticket-printing stations will be located throughout the terminal for individuals unable to print tickets at home, and luggage will be sent at the check-in desk, while maintaining two-meter distances between passengers at all times. Hand-sanitizer stations will be located throughout the building for passenger use.
 
Protective measures for airport staff will include screens at check-in booths, personal protective equipment and temperature checks. Additional floor-cleaning robots will be deployed in the terminal building.
 
The pilot program will be tested on two departing flights, airport officials said, adding that they are working on adapting the entire airport with the same measures.
 
Duty-free stores are expected to be opened gradually, with a dedicated smartphone application permitting advance orders. The McDonald’s branch in the Departure Hall is scheduled to open next week.
 
Work is currently under way to develop a medical platform that enables healthy passengers to present a “medical passport or visa,” allowing swift movement through the terminal buildings, the IAA said. The ban on foreign nationals entering the country is set to expire on May 30, but it may be extended.


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