Coronavirus: the ordinance of the Ministry for the flights to Italy
Added on Wed April 1st, 2020
The latest ordinance of the Ministry of Health to contain the spread of the coronavirus could completely stop air transport to Italy. This means that more than 230.000 Italians could be stranded abroad.
Some airline companies met government representatives to discuss about the situation. There are many problems.
The first complication is logistics. The ordinance establishes a minimum distance of one metre between passengers for every travels to Italy: it is not enough to leave empty the central seat in the rows. Travellers should sit every three seat. This means that people on board shoud be no more than 54 (if the aircaft could have 165 passengers) or 99 (if the aicraft could take 239 travellers). This would have a bad economic impact on the revenues.
The ordinance states that anyone who wants to go to Italy by plane has to have a self-certification. They have to write the reason for the journey and the address of the house where they intend to spend the “period of quarantine”. The airlines have to collect and verify the self-certifications before the trip. The problem is that the airlines do not have the necessary tools to check the truth of the information.
In addition, the airlines have to measure the body temperature of every passenger before they board the aircraft and they have to provide passengers with protective equipment (if travellers don’t have it). This is another critical problem because masks are hard to find.
For these reasons, among the few companies still in service in our country there is the hypothesis of a complete interruption of the international connections. This stop could cause problems for the special flights of Alitalia and Neos – in coordination with the Farnesina crisis unit – to repatriate the Italians still stranded abroad.
Read the article in Italian here.
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