Since Tuesday, Prague Airport has reserved special gates for arrivals from Italy, due to a coronavirus outbreak there that has claimed seven lives, with at least 229 confirmed cases.
The airport started from midnight (February 24th) thermal screening and other measures for passengers arriving from Italy, in addition to isolating those with the disease symptoms.
“This measure applies to six gates on the ground floor of Pier D in Terminal 2 which are the closest to the exit from Terminal 2. By implementing this measure, passengers traveling from Italy will be concentrated in one location,” said Roman Pacvoň, a spokesman for Prague Airport.
Stricter sanitary measures will be in place in these designated arrival gates with more frequent disinfection. Airport security staff will be responsible for conducting direct visual passenger screening.
Buses bringing passengers from Italy to the gates will also be disinfected.
The first plane from Italy is due to arrive in Prague today at 11:00 from Rome, followed by another seven flights, mainly from Milan.
“According to our information, we are the first airport in the world to take such measures on arrivals from Italy,” added Pacvoň.
On Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommended travelers not visit northern Italy.
Prague Airport has also invited the airlines themselves to start paying closer attention onboard their planes and ask their crews to inform passengers while still on board that anybody who is traveling from an affected area and is aware of showing signs of respiratory illness or does not feel well should immediately seek medical assistance at the airport.
The virus that was first found in Wuhan, the capital and the most populated city of Hubei Province, in Central China, has been spreading at a rapid pace despite various preventive measures being taken by the Chinese authorities.