Wayfarer TV: Hong Kong Airport resumes transfers, adds health measures

by James Wilkinson

The Airport Authority of Hong Kong has implemented a host of enhanced health measures at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) as part of a gradual resumption of transfer/transit services.

In tandem with the gradual resumption of transfer/transit services, all passengers, including departing, arriving and transfer/transit passengers, as well as airport staff are required to wear face masks in all passenger accessible areas of HKIA’s restricted area.

Other preventive measures include:
-All transfer/transit and arriving passengers must undergo body temperature screening upon arrival.
-Transfer/transit passengers are requested to go directly to the boarding gates for their connecting flights immediately.
-Transfer/transit passengers are given stickers at transfer points for identification purpose.
-Passengers are reminded to keep a safe physical distance of at least 1.5m from each other when standing in queues.
-Alcohol-based hand rub dispensers and sanitising floor mats are available at each arrival gate and throughout the entire terminal.
-Cleaning and disinfection of the boarding gate area and airbridge are carried out after each arriving flight.
-Protective screens are installed at service counters, including airline check-in counters and Customer Services Centres.
-Designated dining areas are set up for transfer/transit passengers.

Measures for airport staff include temperature check upon entering the terminal. Frontline staff members are provided with personal protective equipment, and disinfection supplies including alcohol-based hand rub. Daily briefing is conducted to remind staff on the protective measures, including keeping a proper distance from passengers. COVID-19 tests are provided by the Department of Health for airport staff, and disinfection channels are available for use by frontline staff.

Airlines are asked to implement pre-flight and in-flight safety measures, including basic health assessment, checking passengers’ body temperature before boarding at origin destinations, requiring passengers to wear face masks in-flight, providing sanitisers, among others.

“On the basis of protecting health and safety of passengers and airport staff as our top priority, it is of paramount importance for HKIA as a major international aviation hub to resume transfer/transit services,” said Airport Authority Hong Kong Executive Director – Airport Operations, Vivian Cheung.

“We have been working closely with the Government, airlines and our business partners to put in place a set of comprehensive measures to ensure a smooth resumption of transfer/transit services and a safe end-to-end journey for passengers.”

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Airport Authority of Hong Kong has stepped up cleaning and disinfection efforts for HKIA’s terminal building and passenger facilities.

Measures implemented thus far include enhanced air ventilation inside the terminal and deep cleaning of the air conditioning systems. Sanitising hand rub dispensers are provided throughout the airport. Frequently touched surfaces are cleaned every hour and treated with antimicrobial coating. Other advanced technologies being deployed include cleaning robots.