Passengers wearing a protective face mask are seen at Leonardo da Vinci airport in Fiumicino, near Rome, Italy, during phase two of the coronavirus emergency. | TELENEWS


The European Commission has unveiled a series of measures 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, rail, sea 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 face masks, 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.
* Sanitising/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 customer 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; prioritising electronic/self-check-in; minimising contacts at baggage drop-offs, security and border control points, boarding, and during baggage collection.
* Pre-ordering of on-board services and meals should be, where possible, done at the time of booking.

Road Travel:

* 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 Travel:

* Rear-door boarding and the use of windows for ventilation instead of air conditioning should be used.
* Seating should be organised where possible so that families sit together, while people not travelling together should be separated.
* In mini-buses, passengers 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 Travel:

* 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 either automatically or remotely by the driver.

The European Commission outlined steps aimed at reviving the struggling Tourism and Airline industries brought to a halt by the coronavirus crisis.

Tourism accounts for almost 10% of the region's GDP, with some 267 million Europeans, or two thirds of the population, making at least one private trip per year, it said.

Guidelines for Hotels and Companies in the Hospitality Sector.

Companies should:

* put in place measures to ensure physical distancing in communal areas where guests are likely to gather for longer than 15 minutes;
* allocate slots or arrange a digital booking system for meal times or visits to pools or gyms;
* find alternative measures to protect guests and workers, such as the use of glass or plastic teller panels, masks, when social distancing cannot be maintained;
* apply a distance of 1.5 to 2 meters in communal areas except for people travelling together and sharing rooms, in addition to other measures such as masks where this is not possible;
* make sure physical distancing is in place in outdoor areas, such as beaches, pools, cafés, bars and restaurants;
* implement strict hygiene measures in indoor areas such as spas and pools;
* consider whether special facilities, including childcare facilities, should remain closed;
* postpone larger scale events like concerts.