COVID-19 has stopped people from enjoying their lives as they did before. People started to be more cautious and not to travel much to maintain their health. As the pandemic is still very much prevalent until now and travel restrictions are being lifted, it is vital that custodians take precautions for upkeeping public hygiene.
As we all know, travellers share spaces and some items while travelling. It is essential to sanitise and disinfect regularly touched objects before letting in a new flow of people. However, since airports operate around the clock, the cleanliness of all public amenities need to be attended to every few hours whether or not there are travellers present. The airport cleaning staff should take actions to disinfect and sanitise the following things frequently:
- Door handles
- Elevator buttons
- Toilet flusher
- Toilet seat
- Faucet handles
- Escalator handrails
- Table trays
- Seat belts
- Security bins
- Self-check-in touchscreens
All objects that are at hand’s reach collect many germs as various people touch them regularly. The spread of pandemics starts with these objects, and each traveller should be cautious about reducing germs from their hands after coming into contact with those areas. A study shows that self-check-in kiosks are one of the places at the airport that showcase the most extensive collection of bacteria, with over 1 million CFU (colony-forming units).
For this reason, airports should provide the necessary supplies for sanitisation and disinfection such as hand sanitiser, hand soap, wet wipes, and more.
Here are the top 5 hygiene tips we’re putting together to help airport workers stop the pandemic spread and keep their travellers safe by reassuring them about their care and professionalism.
It is essential to have washroom hygiene services available at the airport. According to the World Health Organization, people should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. Handwashing can reduce the probability of getting sick with diarrhea by approximately 30% and respiratory infections by about 20%. Thus, automatic soap dispensers, paper towels, and faucets are hygienic options that each airport washroom should have. It is essential to regularly check the level of soap liquid and the number of paper towels in restrooms frequently. Also, airport workers should post hand washing signs to promote proper handwashing to their staff and travellers.
Hand sanitisers that contain from 60% to 95% alcohol are the most efficient at fighting germs. Sanitisers reduce the number of microbes; however, they do not remove all types of germs. That is why handwashing is the most effective option, but people cannot always wash their hands after coughing, sneezing, or touching dirty objects. Thus, hand sanitisers come in handy there. Airport custodians should ensure that a hand sanitiser is accessible to each passenger.
Additionally, hand sanitiser dispensers should also be present near food stalls and security lines so that the passengers will clean their hands and items after passing through the checkpoint.
Disinfectant and disposable wipes lessen the risk of cross-contamination. . The wipes can disinfect the areas that are public and which are used most frequently. Airport cleaning workers can use the wipes in bathrooms, food establishments, and primarily touched areas. Also, signs related to the importance of disposable wipes can reassure passengers about taking wipes with them to reduce germs.
Besides disinfection and sanitisation operations, it is crucial to maintain social distance between the passengers. Airport security can adjust the proper social distance by paying attention to the distance between passengers when they enter the security checkpoint. It is essential to stay six feet apart from each other. And to keep the productivity of checking passengers, airports can adjust additional checkpoint lines. Also, workers can add “do not sit” signs at some airport armrests so that passengers will not sit too close.
The visual reminders of distance can also come in handy to encourage passengers to pay attention to social distance not to spread the pandemic.
Face coverings and masks are another essential part of airport hygiene operations as passengers should maintain the physical distance in checkpoints, the baggage reclaims area, and boarding. Check-in officers should wear face masks and gloves while providing customer service. They should change their masks and gloves after interaction with the passenger, such as after pat-down. Moreover, at checkpoints, there should be acrylic barriers so that the virus will not spread.
Active days and happiness is coming back to life. Travelling is a part of that happiness. The study shows that those who travel are 7% happier than people who rarely travel. Now the concern that travellers have is the pandemic. And airport agents can make travelling possible through the hygiene tips mentioned above. Protecting passengers and taking care of their health is what each person values the most.