Keeping travellers safe as COVID-19 restrictions ease

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Keeping travellers safe as COVID-19 restrictions ease

The Australian Government has endorsed health guidelines, supported by key authorities, to give confidence to passengers flying in the post-pandemic era.

The Government has worked collaboratively with the aviation industry to develop the Domestic Passenger Journey Protocol, which will provide clear and consistent advice to Australians travelling domestically.

The Protocol is informed by health advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), as well as guidance from international aviation authorities such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Protocol will enable the aviation industry to implement consistent and appropriate measures as part of the COVID recovery phase.

"These guidelines will give confidence to passengers and to an industry that is vital to our economic recovery post-pandemic," the Deputy Prime Minister said.

"The Australian Government's Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy, along with State and Territory Chief Health Officers have considered the Protocol and support its release.

"Border closures are costing jobs and hurting economies, so with no national medical advice supporting domestic border closures and today's additional safety assurance for domestic travel, we need all States and Territories to open their borders."

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said success in preventing the spread of COVID-19 through domestic air travel relies on all parties, including passengers, to play their part in minimising risk by adhering to the measures.

"Air handling arrangements on flights through the air filtration systems and control measures minimises the risk and the Medical Expert Panel believes the risk of transmission of COVID-19 on flights is low," Minister Hunt said.

"The risk appears to be mitigated by forward facing seats, the height of the seats and the ventilation and air filtration systems.

"Australia continues to be a world leader in testing, tracing and containing COVID-19 and I would encourage all Australians to contribute to that effort and download the COVIDSafe app today."

Implementation of the Protocol will be reviewed regularly and may be modified if circumstances change.

This is in addition to other inflight measures, including changes in service, hygiene and environmental measures.

The Protocol and further background on the industry's approach to developing it, is available on the Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ) and Australian Airports Association (AAA) websites.

This press release was sourced from Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on 19-Jun-2020.