Emirates, already leading the charge in stemming the spread of coronavirus by testing passengers for exposure before they board, is stepping up precautionary measures by requiring personal protective equipment (PPE) be worn by all onboard. PPE means flight attendants will wear protective disposable gowns over their uniforms, as well as a safety visor, in addition to masks and gloves. Passengers, too, must wear masks and gloves throughout their journey from check-in until they disembark.
At Dubai International airport, gloves and masks are mandatory for all customers and employees. Thermal scanners monitor the temperatures of all passengers and employees stepping into the airport. Physical distancing indicators have been placed on the ground and at waiting areas to help travelers maintain the necessary distance during check-in and boarding.
The airport team has also installed protective barriers at each check-in desk to provide additional safety reassurance to passengers and employees during interaction over the counter.
Aboard Emirates’ flights, seats are now pre-allocated with vacant seats placed between individual passengers or family groups in observance of physical distancing protocols.
Emirates has also modified its inflight services for health and safety reasons. Food and beverages continue to be offered in the form of bento-styled boxes to reduce contact between the crew and customers during meal service, and minimize risk of interaction. The personal boxes provide customers with sandwiches, beverages, snacks and desserts.
Similarly, to reduce risk of spreading the virus by touch, magazines and other print reading material are temporarily unavailable. Cabin baggage are currently not accepted on flights.
Carry-on items allowed in the cabin are limited to laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items. All other items have to be checked in, and Emirates will add the cabin baggage allowance to customers’ check-in baggage allowance.
All Emirates aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai, after each journey. The airline has grounded its commercial global service and is not expected to begin flying again until July.