TRAVEL | How To Travel In Europe In The Era Of Coronavirus

BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – The European Commission unveiled a series of measured aimed at ensuring people can start travelling safely across the continent again as governments try to revive tourism and airline industries brought to a halt by the coronavirus.

Below are the general guidelines for air, rails, water and road travel and steps for each mode of transport:

General Guidelines:

  • Passengers will be encouraged to buy tickets, reserve seats and check in online.
  • Passengers should wear facemasks, especially where physical distancing measures cannot be fully observed at all times. These do not need to be medical masks.
  • Physical distancing should be ensured at security checks and luggage drop-off and collection.
  • Dedicated lanes should be set up to keep passenger flows separate at ports, airports, train stations, bus stops, ferry landings and urban public transport hubs.
  • Hubs should remove facilities that encourage crowding, such as benches, tables or, re-arrange them to ensure distancing.
  • Fewer passengers may be allowed on board buses, trains or ferries, and passengers who are not from the same household may be seated apart.
  • Transport staff should have adequate protective equipment.
  • Sanitizing/disinfecting gel should be available and vehicles cleaned and disinfected regularly.
  • Food, drinks and other goods may no longer be on sale on board.
  • Duty-free shops and other travel retailers should control passenger movement with floor markers and restrict customers numbers, boost cleaning and set up barriers at till points among other measures.
  • Contact tracing and warning measures with the use of mobile apps could be used on a voluntary basis. Such apps should be able to function across borders.

Air Travel:

Protocols will be outlined by regulators in the next few weeks and should include:

  • Ventilation should be strengthened, with hospital-grade air filtering and vertical airflow.
  • Movement needs to be reduced in the cabin, such as less cabin baggage, fewer interactions with the crew.
  • Passenger flows should be managed with early arrival times at the airport; prioritizing electronic/self-check-in; minimizing contacts at baggage drop-offs, security and border control points, boarding, and during baggage collection.
  • Pre-ordering of on-board of on-board services and meals should be, were possible, done at the time of booking.

Road:

  • Terminals, rest areas along motorways, parking, fuelling and charging stations should maintain high levels of hygiene.
  • At stations, passenger flow should be managed.
  • Where adequate levels of public health cannot be ensured, closing stops or stations should be considered.

Bus & Coach:

  • Rear-door boarding and the use of windows for ventilation instead of air conditioning should be used.
  • Seating should be organized where possible so that families sit together, while people not travelling together should be separated.
  • In mini-buses, passenger should not be allowed to sit next to the driver unless physical separation is possible.
  • If possible, passengers should handle the their own luggage.

Rail:

  • Frequency and capacity of trains should be increased if necessary to reduce passenger density.
  • Rail operators should implement mandatory seat reservations on long-distance and regional trains.
  • For short-distance trips, passengers should leave seats empty between them, except for passengers from the same household.
  • Rail operators should use passenger counting systems, especially on commuter and suburban trains, to manage capacity.
  • Passenger flow should be managed at stations and stops closed if adequate levels of public health cannot be ensured.
  • Off-peak hour travel should be encouraged with incentives, such as adjusted pricing, or flexible working hours in the case of commuter trains, to avoid crowding.
  • Doors should be opened at each stop wither automatically or remotely by the driver.

Saudi Opens Consular Section Of Kabul Embassy As Of Tuesday – State News Agency

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia announced that it was opening the consular section in its embassy in Afghani capital of Kabul as of Tuesday to provide consular service to Afghani citizens, state news agency (SPA) report. In August, Saudi evacuated all of its diplomats from the embassy in Kabul after the Taliban movement overtook the … More Saudi Opens Consular Section Of Kabul Embassy As Of Tuesday – State News Agency

Saudi Arabia Halts Flights From More African Nations – State News Agency

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior halted flights from and to Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, Mauritius and the Comoros Islands on Sunday owing to concerns related to the spread of the new COVID-19 strain, state news agency SPA reported on Twitter. Saudi Arabia on Friday suspended flights to and from South Africa, Namibia, … More Saudi Arabia Halts Flights From More African Nations – State News Agency

Turkey Closes Borders To Five Countries Due To New COVID-19 Variant

PARIS, France – Turkey closed its borders to passengers from five countries as a measure against the new coronavirus variant, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Friday. Travellers from Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe will not be allowed to enter as of Friday night due to rising cases of the new variant, Koca … More Turkey Closes Borders To Five Countries Due To New COVID-19 Variant

Saudi – Led Coalition Carries Out Strikes In Yemeni Capital Sanaa – State TV

PARIS, France – The Saudi – led coalition fighting in Yemen said early on Saturday it launched air strikes on military targets in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, asking civilians not to gather around or approach the targeted sites, Saudi state TV reported. The coalition, which intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Iran – … More Saudi – Led Coalition Carries Out Strikes In Yemeni Capital Sanaa – State TV

Oman Bans Travellers From 7 Southern African States Over COVID Variant

PARIS, France – – Oman has suspended entry to travellers from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini starting from Nov.28 due to the spread of a new variant of COVID – 19 discovered in South Africa, the country’s state news agency said in a tweet on Saturday.

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