Italy’s government relaxed the rules on social distance for the airlines but introduced new restrictions on how long travellers can wear the same face mask, The Local Italy reports.
The new set of rules for the airlines require to pack an extra face mask and cutting back on hand luggage. The Italian government rolled out new coronavirus precautions for anyone taking a flight in Italy as part of its latest coronavirus bill, signed on June 11th.
In general, the precautions apply to everyone flying to or from an Italian airport, regardless of where you’re from or where you live, and will remain in place until further notice.
According to the decree, the new rules came into force on June 15th. It coincides the date when most other members of the EU dropped their restrictions on travel to and from Italy. Thus, Italy has allowed travel within the EU, Schengen Area and UK since June 3rd.
The main travel rules Italians need to know
Social distancing is still required in Italian and EU airports and on shuttle buses carrying passengers to and from the aircraft. Face masks have to be changed every four hours, the government ruled.
Although Italy has dropped the requirement for airlines to seat passengers at least a metre apart, the plane should be equipped with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter.
According to the International Air Transport Association, HEPA filters capture more than 99 percent of airborne microbes. Masks remain compulsory for the duration of the journey, passengers are advised to bring their own replacements.
The government’s decree doesn’t specify maximum dimensions for cabin luggage, leaving it up to airlines to set their own limits.
Passengers must now fill out a self-certification form before each flight, declaring that they do not have coronavirus or any of its main symptoms.
To sum it up, with the new rules, getting on and off the plane will almost certainly take longer than usual now that airlines have to enforce social distancing before and after take-off.