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Airports Council International (ACI) World has issued new practice guidance regarding airport security screening to safeguard screeners, passengers and staff from the Covid-19 coronavirus while preserving security measures.

The Security Advisory Bulletin outlines the guidelines for security checkpoint management, with the aim of ensuring protection for passengers and staff.

ACI stated that hand sanitisers and disinfection products should be provided to passengers and staff before they approach the screening points.

In cases where health screening is needed, staff should use non-contact thermometers in a pre-allocated section before the checkpoint.

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Security lines should not be placed near each other if passenger traffic is low.

If local screening authorities permit, passengers and staff can wear gloves and / or masks.

ACI added that the need for hand searches should be minimised. One way to do this is through proper communication with the passenger before walk-through metal detector (WTMD) use.

Security inspection personnel should be given disposable gloves. If possible, they should also be provided with surgical masks, uniform caps or disposable medical caps, goggles and protective suits.

Airport providers should use displays to inform the public regarding the measures to be taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

ACI World director general Angela Gittens said: “The safety, security and health of passengers and staff remain top priorities for airports and their partners in the aviation industry.

“It is crucial that security screening practices can be adapted to suit new circumstances, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, without affecting the overall security of the system.

“The guidance we have issued today provides airport management and staff with procedures that they can introduce that will help protect passengers, as well as screening agents and other airport staff as they carry out their important functions.”

In January, ACI World issued an advisory bulletin for airports after the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus in China.