Transport Ministry Conducts Extensive Consultations on Flight Safety During Covid-19

PUTRAJAYA: The Transport Ministry says the decision to do away with the requirement for social distancing on flights was not made unilaterally.

In a statement uploaded on the Facebook page of Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong Saturday (June 13) evening, the Ministry said the government had consulted industry stakeholders, both in the private and public sectors, before arriving at the decision.

“These consultations were guided by recommendations from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Health Ministry based on scientific evidence and a robust fact-based risk assessment.

“From these consultations, which also included airport operators, airlines, the Immigration Department, and the Royal Malaysian Customs, a set of standard operating procedures (SOP) that must be strictly followed were drawn up by MOH,” it said.

These include:

1. Mandatory use of face masks on passenger aircraft

2. Body temperature checks and symptoms screening with thermal scanners or handheld scanners prior to boarding

3. Contact tracing (enabled) through passenger manifests

4. Using hand sanitisers

5. Fully communicating MOH guidelines on infection prevention and hygiene to airlines’ ground and cabin crew

6. Fully sanitising aircraft cabins after each flight

7. Avoiding contact during inflight services such as the serving of meals

“These SOPs were discussed and agreed upon by the Transport Ministry together with the National Security Council, MOH and the International Trade and Industry Ministry on June 7.

“At all times, the Ministry remains concerned about the health and safety of all public transport users and employees, and will continue to monitor the situation during the Recovery Movement Control Order period,” it added.


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