Finnair to Require All Passengers to Wear Masks

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Finnair has introduced a range of new COVID19
safety measures as it prepares to increase the number of flights
available.

Earlier this spring, the airline changed in-flight
service, customers are seated as far away from each other onboard
as possible, there are plastic shields at service points and
aircraft cleaning has been intensified. Customer service personnel
also follow a no-touch policy with customers’ travel documents and
baggage.

The most visible and latest change to customers
now is the requirement wear a mask for the entire duration of the
flight. This measure is in effect from 18 May and will stay in
place until the end of August 2020, at the earliest.


Finnair Airbus A350-900 reg: OH-LWB. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

“Customers will board the flight with their own
mask and wear it throughout the flight,” said Piia Karhu, SVP,
Customer Experience at Finnair. “Also, Finnair’s customer facing
staff at the airport as well as the cabin crew will wear surgical
masks. We decided to introduce this measure because the usage of
masks is becoming more widespread and they protect passengers from
possible droplet infections. When everyone wears a mask, we’re
able to protect each other.”

Other measures include:

– Customers are asked to maintain a minimum social
distance of 1 meter at the airport;

– All Finnair customer facing staff at the airport
will wear a mask;

– Onboard, customers are seated apart from each
other whenever possible; seating arrangements are reviewed by
airline staff at the gate before boarding;

– Customers will board the aircraft starting from
those seated at the rear of the cabin;

– In bus transportation, max 50% of the capacity
of the bus is used;

– Finnair cabin crew will wear surgical masks
during the flight;

– All customers are required to wear a mask from
boarding to leaving the aircraft;

– Customers are asked to bring their own masks
that cover both nose and mouth;

– Children under the age of 7 are not required to
wear a mask;

– Other exemptions from the mask rule are subject
to prior clearance from Finnair Medical desk;

– Aircraft cleaning has further been intensified,
with a special focus on high-touch areas;

– Sanitising wipes are available for customers
onboard;

– An adjusted in-flight service concept will help
to decrease contact between customers and cabin crew;

– Customers are asked to travel light to minimise
the amount of hand-baggage in the cabin and avoid unnecessary
movement in the cabin; and

– Disembarkation will happen from front to rear by
groups.

“We recommend that customers acquire a mask that
fits them already before their flight, pack as little as possible
and check-in online or with a mobile app – all of these reduce
waiting times and contacts at the airport,” added Piia Karhu. “I’m
confident everyone also understands that they won’t be able to
board a flight if there is the slightest suspicion of a Covid19
infection or if they have respiratory symptoms.”

Finavia, the Finnish airport operator, has also
introduced new measures at Finnish airports. Customer facing
employees at the airports will wear surgical masks, floor stickers
mark social distancing rules at airports, customer service points
are equipped with plastic shields and hand sanitiser is available
in various locations.

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