We visited Malta International Airport after it had been closed to commercial travel for over 100 days. One’s first experience on entering the airport is of having to stop in front of a camera with specialised equipment. This camera records one’s body temperature which has to be between 36 and 38 Celsius. If a higher temperature is registered, one is not allowed entry to the arrivals lounge.
This is the only entrance being used for access to the airport, and three thermal cameras have been positioned to check temperatures with the least possible inconvenience, both for passengers and for visitors to the airport.
Check-in desks have been fitted with perspex and technological equipment to scan passports and boarding passes, with the aim of minimising contact between staff and passengers.
Besides sanitiser dispensers attached to practically every pillar in the arrival and departure halls, over 2,000 signs have been placed on the floors and all over the airport in order to maintain social distancing.
The MIA management stated that cleanliness and hygiene are being given priority as never before, and this through more frequent cleaning and disinfecting schedules in the most frequented areas.
Officials are on hand around the airport to facilitate each passenger’s experience as well as to ensure all health recommendations are being observed, including the wearing of masks.
Wearing of masks is mandatory in all public areas at the airport, and only a mask is permissible and acceptable for many airlines. Passengers not wearing masks may risk not being allowed to board.
Because of restrictions on physical distancing, seating for passengers has been reduced by half, a new reality to which we have to adapt.