At this critical time, EurECCA is calling on EASA's Executive Director, Patrick Ky, to support health and safety measures to avoid an upsurge of COVID-19 in the civil aviation sector, and ask all civil aviation authorities to ensure that all airlines apply AT LEAST minimum health measures, which is not currently the case.
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Dear Mr. Ky,
On behalf of the 33,000 European cabin crew, represented by EurECCA, we are contacting you to request your help in addressing the disgraceful and unacceptable situation the aviation sector is currently facing in light of the coronavirus crisis. At this critical time, we should all be doing what we can to avoid an upsurge of COVID-19 in the civil aviation sector, and we would ask that you oblige all civil aviation authorities to ensure that all airlines apply AT LEAST minimum health measures, which is not currently the case.
In some airports, social distancing is not maintained at the check-in lines, nor in the cramped boarding areas, and there are no temperature control of the passengers. These are very, very basic measures that many countries have been taking since the beginning of the pandemic, ones which government officials, the media, and indeed the world is aware of being taken. During the month of March, thousands of European citizens were repatriated and allowed to travel back home. They boarded planes and travelled without any preventive measures and came into contact with cabin crew working onboard without any means of protection, who have thus become vectors for the spread of the virus throughout the world.
Many countries do not have the necessary infrastructure to easily control the disease and can, therefore, be considered countries at risk. We are aware and concerned that some airlines are already putting tickets on sale for the end of May. This is extremely worrying as some civil aviation authorities do not take even the slightest measures to control passengers, which brings a high risk of an upsurge in cases of COVID-19. What consequences would this have? A new isolation for European citizens?
As EurECCA we want to play our part in responsibly preparing as much as possible for future COVID-19 events. To prevent any risk, EurECCA is asking the airlines to test their crews, to ensure that workers who board a plane do not become vectors for the spread of the disease. Some countries, such as Germany and the UK, are already considering the possibility of creating a health passport to ensure control of the pandemic. We are aware that some airlines have tried to test their workers through the Ministry of Health and have not been authorized to do so. That is why we are turning to you.
Please, let's do things right for once! We have an unprecedented opportunity and responsibility to stop the spread of this deadly virus. To help control this pandemic we are asking that EASA imposes the testing of people who may be in direct contact with infected people and those who travel to risk countries.
We look forward to hearing from you and remain at your disposal.
On behalf of the EurECCA Board,
Xavier Gautier Secretary-General