On Monday, the General Health Office of the Czech Republic published a Protective Measure under which Prague Airport is taking steps to inform passengers of what measures have been adopted to prevent the spread of coronavirus and what people with suspected coronavirus infection should do. The purpose of the measure is to create conditions to timely detect and prevent further spreading of the infection. In this respect, the airport immediately took a number of specific steps with the aim of informing and educating passengers. The measures were adopted as part of the airport’s standard operations.
The airport, the airlines, the Police Presidium of the Czech Republic, and the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic have agreed on reinforcing and expanding these measures to the passport control and customs inspection areas, as well as on airplanes. The process of implementing these joint measures has already begun.
Inside the airport, passengers can read large educational boards that provide them with information on how to proceed if they observe symptoms of a respiratory disease and have arrived from an area of infection focus. These large boards are complemented by smaller signs that are evenly distributed throughout the terminals and by new postings in the two dedicated gates where all flights from China are being directed.
Following an agreement with the Police Presidium of the Czech Republic, the information is expanded to the passport control area. Postings are also placed here so that passengers waiting for passport control can read the information.
Most information carriers are located in the incoming passenger flow so that they reach as many as 100% of the passengers. The airport adjust the number of information carriers as the situation requires.
Passengers who notice symptoms of a respiratory illness and arrive from a focus area should immediately seek medical assistance, preferably from the Permanent Medical Service at Prague Airport, which is available 24 hours a day. The Permanent Medical Service will provide immediate medical care. Such passengers should avoid contact with larger groups of other people and should not travel to the city centre.
Until further notice, all flights from China are handled at two dedicated gates. Airplanes from China do not park at any other gates. Stricter sanitation rules apply within this dedicated area, such as more frequent disinfection. We have extended the same procedure to all other gates where intercontinental flights are heading, even though there are no flights to China. More frequent and thorough sanitation rules are also carried out at check-in counters. At the same time, we also placed disinfectants in the terminal halls. There is more than 60 disinfectant dispensers across terminals, some of them in the most exposed locations.
Passengers at the airport are subject to targeted screening when they receive instructions from the airport staff, who have been directed to more closely observe what is happening in the terminals, pay closer attention to those passengers who show signs of respiratory illness, and then immediately refer them to Prague Airport’s Permanent Medical Service. When necessary, airport staff have been directed to inform airport security that a potentially infectious passenger has been identified in one of the terminals. The targeted screening procedure was already introduced and it is successfully working.
A dedicated employee is present during all arrivals from China. This employee actively approaches passengers in the gate area who show signs of infection. Such passengers are referred to the care of Prague Airport’s Permanent Medical Service. The employee informs them to immediately seek medical assistance directly at the airport, avoid contact with large groups of passengers, and stay away from the city centre. Similar screening is also performed by employees at the passport control and customs inspection areas. They have also been directed to more closely observe passengers and those who are arriving from an affected area and show signs of a respiratory illness, inform them that they should seek medical assistance directly at the airport, and remain within the terminal.
Prague Airport has also invited the airlines themselves to start paying closer attention onboard their planes and ask their crews to inform passengers while still on board that anybody who is traveling from an affected area and is aware of showing signs of a respiratory illness or does not feel well should immediately seek medical assistance at the airport. The airlines have also received information that is to be distributed to passengers directly in the terminals and while onboard.
All measures have been implemented as part of the airport’s standard operations and will be reinforced in line with a decree issued by the Ministry of Health. The aim of the measures is to inform and educate passengers.