Domestic and International Air Travel Protocols
- Use floor stickers to direct and maintain safe physical distancing (a distance of 1.5 meters) and prevent congestion (such as: in the areas of boarding and disembarking from the plane, at the entrances and exits of the halls, and queues at the counters, in the passport offices, in front of the elevators, and in the boarding area, and security checkpoints).
- Temperature check must be conducted at the entrance to the halls.
- Provide hand sanitizers and tissue papers on all counters and at entrances.
- Use mechanisms to verify tickets without contact (such as, through infrared light or QR code scanners).
- Isolation rooms must be prepared in the epidemiological monitoring center for suspected cases from employees or passengers, and the epidemiological monitoring center at the airport and the competent authorities must be contacted to take the necessary actions.
- Encourage the employees who are among those at higher risk of infection as per Appendix A to work remotely from home.
- Allow individuals to perform prayers in the designated place, with the necessity to follow the mosques protocols and the presence of supervisors to regulate entry and prevent crowding.
At entrances and exits:
- Employees and cabin crew members who show symptoms [a high temperature 38C or above] should be isolated and prevented from coming to work.
- Do not allow passengers who show symptoms [sneezing and coughing, or whose temperature exceeds 38C, by being checked with a device approved by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA)] from entering the halls.
Inside the halls:
- Reduce the number of people allowed to use shared spaces and facilities to maintain the recommended social distancing (for 1.5 meters) (such as, free-zones, waiting queues, boarding areas, and restrooms).
- Disinfect materials that are commonly shared in the halls between shifts (such as, prayer rooms, work offices for employees, boarding counters, etc.).
- Provide trash cans and waste bins that work with no touching required.
- Restrict meetings and gatherings [following the protocols of the Social Sector].
- Provide appropriate and equipped isolation rooms in the halls [in compliance with the directives of the competent authorities] for cases that show symptoms [sneezing and coughing, or whose temperature exceeds 38C] while in the hall.
- Close unnecessary public places (such as smoking rooms) or allocate a smoking room outside the airport terminal if possible.
- Remove or disable the use of items that are commonly shared (such as: pens used for filling papers, water dispensers, and touch screens).
- Allow restaurants and cafes, including buffets, to open with the necessity to adhere to Restaurants and Cafes Protocols.
- Impose a system of using stairs in one direction at all times.
- Consider limiting the use of elevators to people with special needs or for special purposes.
- Must ensure the availability of hand soap in the restrooms and hand sanitizers (containing 60-80% alcohol) and meets the requirements of the SFDA.
- Floor stickers must be placed in the waiting areas at check-in counters, passport counters, when checking and receiving luggage, and at restaurants to ensure a distance of no less than (1.5 meters) between people to achieve social distancing.
- Seats in waiting halls and dining areas must be placed in a way that guarantees social distancing at a distance of no less than (1.5 meters), making sure to leave the same distance while transporting passengers to and from airplanes when using the corridors or buses.
- Employees and cabin crew members must reduce personal contact with passengers, wear medical or cloth masks or anything that covers the mouth and nose, and gloves when interacting with passengers, and adhere to social distancing.
- Urge travelers to use electronic means of payment and to avoid the use of cash and coins in restaurants and the ticket-buying counters as much as possible.
- All airport workers must wear medical or cloth masks or anything that covers the mouth and nose, when dealing with travelers, sanitizing their hands after dealing with passports and documents that belong to travelers, and fingerprint devices must be sterilized after each passenger.
- Urge travelers to disinfect their hands with sanitizers after taking their fingerprint at passport counters.
- It is obligatory to disinfect environmental surfaces such as check-in counters, reception or waiting halls for travelers, fingerprint devices at passport counters every 2 hours with disinfectants approved by the SFDA (sodium hypochlorite), while following the instructions shown on the packages, focusing on the places where contact is more likely, such as doorknobs, dining tables, seat armrests, elevator keys, etc.
- All places and surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water before disinfecting them.
- Airplanes must be completely and continuously disinfected and sterilized after arrival, including passenger seats, seat belts, dining tables, restrooms and luggage cabinets.
- Buses and corridors for transporting passengers to and from the airplanes must be periodically disinfected.
- Ensure restrooms and toilets are disinfected every 2 hours with disinfectants approved by the SFDA. It is preferable to disinfect the toilets on airplanes after each use.
- A record of the times of cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and toilets should be maintained.
- It is preferable to have self-operating doors, especially in hall entrances, as well as self-operating faucets in restrooms to reduce the possibility of contact and disease transmission.
- Single-use disposable utensils must be used when serving food in airplanes and airport lounges.
- Ensure good ventilation in all places, especially gathering places, and reduce the temperature in general in airport halls and in airplanes in particular, and it is preferable to provide them with the necessary equipment to monitor and measure air quality if possible.
- Air filters for ventilators, especially air conditioners, must be changed or cleaned periodically.
- Allow restaurants and prayer places to open while following the preventive protocols.
- Free-zone markets can be open with an emphasis on sterilizing items periodically and providing sterilizers in prominent places of the market if possible.
- Remove tools that the employees may share, such as pens, papers, water dispensers, tea and coffee makers, etc.
- Interactive screens, such as self-service boarding pass kiosks or indicative screens for passengers should be reduced. And the use of the fingerprint attendance system for employees should be suspended
- It is preferable to provide trash cans and waste bins that work with no touching required and waste must be disposed of continuously.
- Reduce the number of passengers inside buses and ensure the recommended distance between passengers while transporting them to and from the airplanes.
- Supervisors must organize waiting queues for travelers at check-in counters, passport counters, luggage inspection and collection, and restaurants by placing visible signs or floor stickers ensuring a distance of 1.5 meters between individuals.
- The number of people allowed to use the elevators should be set to ensure that the recommended social distancing space is maintained (1.5 meters).
- Use signs or floor stickers to guarantee a distance of 1.5 meters between individuals in escalators or regular stairs.
Inside the hall – Employees
- All employees must wear medical or cloth masks or anything that covers the mouth and nose and avoid touching the mouth, nose and eyes.
- Require employees to adhere to preventive hygiene practices (such as, using hand sanitizers, frequent hand washing, and putting more emphasis on customer service personnel).
- Customer service personnel must work from cabins or offices with an appropriate distance separating them from passengers (e.g. by, using protective glass barriers).
- Prevent movement between different work areas without frequent disinfection.
Inside the hall – Passengers
- All passengers must wear medical or cloth masks or anything that covers the mouth and nose at all times while in the hall.
- Consider requiring passengers to carry their luggage and personal belongings by themselves at all times.
- Passengers who have a high temperature or respiratory symptoms should be prevented from leaving the airport or plane, take their data and report them immediately to the epidemiological monitoring center or call 937 to find out the directions required to transfer the case to the hospital.
On the Airplane
- Maintain the recommended social distancing [1.5 meters)] between passengers at all times, and consider allocating some seats (e.g., the last three rows) as a quarantine area to deal with potential emergencies during the flight.
- Allow families to sit together and reserve seats in advance.
- Allow meals to be served during flights.
- Allow air sales on the airplane.
- Apply all standard procedures for cleaning and disinfection [passenger cabin after each flight].
- Disinfect restrooms after each use and provide hygienic disposable seat covers.
- Remove all hard copies of magazines and journals except for the sickness bag to be replaced on every flight.
- The prayer hall in the plane must be closed, if any.
- It is preferable to prepare an isolation place for the suspected cases.
- Provide personal hygiene items [such as, wet tissues, sanitary sheets, cloth masks, and sanitizers] for each passenger.
- All passengers must be wearing masks before boarding the plane and at all times during the flight.
- Put suitable legislation in place for travelers who have a high temperature or respiratory symptoms from leaving the airport or plane and taking their data and reporting them immediately to the epidemiological monitoring center or by calling 937 to find out the directions required to transfer the case to the hospital.
Cabin crew members:
- Crew members must cleanse and sanitize their hands before providing services to passengers.
- All crew members must wear gloves and medical or cloth masks or anything that covers the mouth and nose at all times during work and avoid touching the mouth, nose and eyes.
- Any cases among the staff and cabin crew that have high fever or respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) and are suspected of having Covid-19 must be reported, their data and contact numbers must be recorded, and the epidemiological monitoring center at the airport or 937 must be contacted immediately to find out the directions required to transfer the case to the hospital.
- Follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health (MOH) regarding those arriving from outside the Kingdom.
Monitoring and reporting:
- Prepare a detailed daily record of the employees’ previous travel trips and their health status, including the list of employees who are in quarantine.
- Prepare a list of the employees who work together, their shifts and dates of work – it is preferable to set the cabin crew for each trip and reduce changing shifts between them as much as possible.
- Classify health risks by conducting home surveys [Can be found on the official website of the MOH].
- Follow the instructions of the MOH and the relevant authorities regarding Covid-19 before allowing any of the employees to resume work (including employees returning from travel).
- Ensure that a temperature check is performed and the competent authorities are informed about any cases whose temperature exceeds [38C] among employees, passengers or cabin crew members, and that the case is isolated until referring it to the health care facility.
- Require all employees to apply self-isolation in the event of having any symptoms of Covid-19.
- If a confirmed case is registered, it is necessary to inform the MOH immediately and refer to the protocols and guidelines of the MOH regarding testing, tracking and isolation of suspected cases
- If a suspected case is registered on an arriving international or domestic flight, the case should be isolated if possible, and make sure the suspected individual, passengers and crew all wears masks, and coordinate in advance with the airport staff and the epidemiological control center in order to complete the arrival procedures and take the necessary precautions. The case must be dealt with according to the directions followed in the Covid-19 guide.
Communication and Implementation:
- Display best disinfection practices on the screens of the airplanes and in the airport halls (such as, passenger seat disinfection, and restrooms disinfection before and after use).
- Prevent magazines and newspapers on the plane.
- Use digital channels (e.g. social media and phone apps) and other channels (e.g. place posters on the airplane and at stations) to raise awareness among employees, passengers and crew members on the Covid-19 disease, in line with the directives of the MOH.
- Assign a protocol manager to ensure that the established protocols issued by the competent authorities are followed.
- Instruct and guide passengers and employees to sanitize their hands before and after the use of shared facilities.
- Conduct mandatory health and safety trainings on Covid-19 for all staff and crew members.