New health rules for airline passengers
REGIONAL Express passengers will soon be forced to wear face masks on all Rex flights according to the airline’s new health rules.
Regional Express said the airline will mandate the use of face masks for all passengers as an extra layer of protection against the spread of COVID-19 from June 1.
Rex national airports manager David Brooksby said passengers are to use their own masks, and those without masks can purchase one at check-in.
He said passengers will be denied boarding if they refuse to wear a mask unless there are exceptional reasons.
According to the new rules, passengers must wear masks at Rex check-in counters or worn immediately after purchasing from a check-in counter, at boarding gates, during tarmac transfer both during boarding and disembarking, during bus transfers, and while on-board the aircraft.
“As the country prepares to open the borders and lift the lockdowns, we need to be vigilant now more than ever to ensure that we prevent a second wave of infections which would cause untold economic damage and misery to all communities,” Mr Brooksby said.
“The health and safety of passengers and employees is paramount and we thank our passengers for putting up with the inconvenience as an act of consideration for our staff and other passengers.”
Mr Brooksby said Rex has already enforced significant changes to minimise the risk of infection, including the proactive and unprecedented measure of body temperature testing of passengers and employees.
“Since early March, Rex has endeavoured to space out seating allocation of all passengers to facilitate social distancing,” he said.
“Unrelated parties will not be assigned seats next to each other when and where possible.”
Rex joins other airlines in introducing face masks for passengers, with Jetstar and parent company Qantas set to provide passengers with face masks on all flights from June.
However at this stage, face masks on Jetstar/Qantas flights are recommended only, not mandatory.