Passengers travelling through Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports in England are being ordered to cover their faces and wear gloves.
Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which owns the three airports, said the measure is designed to “demonstrate one way in which air travel can be made safe”.
The airports are believed to be the first in the UK to implement such stringent hygiene rules.
Passengers are encouraged to bring their own gloves and face coverings or masks, but they will be provided in the early stages of the trial.
To reduce the risk of spreading #COVID19 and help establish a new standard for air travel, London Stansted Airport is piloting new measures to ensure those passengers currently making essential journeys feel safer & more confident about flying. Read more: https://t.co/cLOnF7Uvc5 pic.twitter.com/K1ucmBLPSM
— London Stansted Airport (@STN_Airport) May 7, 2020
All airport staff serving passengers will wear gloves and face masks.
The airports will also conduct temperature screening trials over the next few weeks, and are considering requiring passengers to make a health declaration before they are allowed to enter.
MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish said: “It’s clear that social distancing will not work on any form of public transport. But we’re confident that when the time is right, people will be able to travel safely.
“MAG has been working with the rest of the airport industry on a new safety framework for travel.
“We now need to work urgently with Government to agree how we operate in the future. This has to be a top priority so that people can be confident about flying, and to get tourism and travel going again.
“At MAG we’ve taken expert medical advice on how people can travel safely, and we’re pleased to be piloting these new measures at our airports for those passengers who do still need to travel.
“We expect to be able to agree a new framework by the end of May that will support a restart of the industry as soon as possible.”
Heathrow, the UK’s busiest airport, announced of Wednesday that it will soon begin temperature screening of arriving passengers.