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Carefully balancing public health concerns against the economic damage of lockdown, governments around the world are edging towards a resumption of business activity. While many welcome this prospect, there are still fears of a second spike in infections. Health measures are thus an essential element in the reopening process, and airports in particular are demonstrably keen to earn travellers’ trust via a rigorous approach to hygiene.
Hamad International Airport in Qatar is making impressive use of technology as it prepares for post-pandemic travel. Futuristic-looking helmets employ thermal imaging and augmented reality for the contactless measurement of passengers’ temperatures by airport staff. Ultraviolet light is also being harnessed, both by autonomous cleaning robots to decontaminate high-traffic zones and in disinfection tunnels through which checked-in luggage passes to be sanitised.
Facemasks for all, hand sanitizers throughout the terminals, high-frequency cleaning protocols and plexiglass panels are the order of the day at Munich Airport as it gets ready for an anticipated uplift in passengers. Vending machines will sell masks, disinfectant wipes and other protective products.
Many shops and F&B outlets in Terminal 2E of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport have now reopened. As in Munich, health measures have been strengthened. Masks are mandatory for travellers and airport personnel, limited numbers are allowed into shops at any one time and revised security checks minimise physical contact.
Looking beyond airports, Lindt & Sprüngli is gradually removing the shutters from its international network of high-street chocolate shops. The Austrian brand, a pillar of duty free and travel retail’s confectionery category, is also taking steps to ensure the safety of customers and staff alike with enhanced hygiene procedures.