Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport: Unprecedented measures to contain COVID-19 spread

Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport: Unprecedented measures to contain COVID-19 spread

SIA JSC, the managers of Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport, is taking unprecedented measures to prevent the importation and spread of COVID-19 infection in the territory of the Russian Federation.

Sheremetyevo Airport is closely adhering to all the directives and recommendations of the Russian government’s emergency response headquarters in charge of preventing the importation and spread of the novel coronavirus in the territory of the Russian Federation, which is under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister T. Golkova

Ensuring that the airport does not become a point for introduction of new COVID-19 cases into Russia and safeguarding the health and safety of the passengers and staff are the top priorities for the airport.

Given the reduced passenger traffic and new restrictions imposed on international air travel, terminals E and C will be closed for both departures and arrivals on March 20, 2020, at 12:00 a.m. All flights currently operating in these terminals will be transferred to Terminal D and Terminal F.

Sheremetyevo International Airport is the first airport in Russia to begin implementing a set of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. From the very first days of the threat of infection spreading in the territory of Russia, all flights arriving from China were directed to Terminal F, and flights from the Republic of Korea, Iran, and Italy were subsequently directed to that terminal as well. At the moment, the terminal is serving all flights arriving from countries with large numbers of recorded COVID-19 cases.*

All passengers arriving at Terminal F undergo health checks. Preventive measures begin on board the aircraft, where officers of the Federal Consumer Supervision Service check passengers’ condition using remote thermal-imaging cameras. The most stringent inspection is conducted at the exit from the passenger ramp into the arrival area with stationary thermal-imaging cameras. Final-stage screening is conducted in the baggage reclaim area by officers of the Department of Healthcare of Moscow, the Ministry of Healthcare of Moscow Oblast, the Federal Consumer Supervision Service and the medical and sanitary department of SIA JSC.

Temperatures are taken for all passengers and crew members who arrive in Moscow, and biological samples are collected for the subsequent test for COVID-19. All arrivals must also fill out about their recent physical condition and recent travels.

Medical personnel also carefully examine passengers for signs of illness. Passengers who are running a fever or present with cold or flu-like symptoms are taken to isolation wards in the medical stations of the airport and then to hospitals specializing in the treatment of infectious diseases. There are two medical crews from the center for emergency medicine of the Moscow Oblast on duty at the airport at all times.

In addition, domestic passengers transiting the other terminals are encouraged to check in with the medical stations in terminals D, F, and B, where they will be inspected by highly skilled medical staff.

Sheremetyevo Airport has organized full-scale notification of passengers about ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Voice announcements are being broadcast over the PA system in the terminals about measures to prevent COVID-19 as well as about the procedure for getting tested for it on airport premises. Passengers in all the baggage claim areas are notified that their temperature is being taken using remote heat sensors at the airport. Up-to-date information on the recommendations of the Consumer Supervision Service on how to combat COVID-19 is carried at all the information desks and on the electronic displays across the airport.

Sheremetyevo Airport is taking unprecedented measures to identify and prevent the spread of the virus among its staff. All staff presenting with flu-like symptoms are banned from work and are immediately sent into self-isolation, on sick leave and in quarantine. Sheremetyevo Airport has introduced restrictions on mass and public events, and all work meetings are being held in online format.

500,000 medical masks have been purchased for SIA JSC staff. All staff involved in providing services to passengers are issued personal protective equipment (medical masks and gloves). Dispensers of liquid disinfectant have been placed in all utility spaces to allow staff to wash their hands at every opportunity. Staff regularly have their body temperature checked using stationary and mobile heat sensors at the terminals as well as at all medical stations and in the polyclinic of the Medical and Sanitary Department of SIA JSC.

Sheremetyevo Airport has expanded efforts to decontaminate all premises. The strictest measures are being put in place in Terminal F, which is currently serving flights arriving from countries with large numbers of COVID-19 cases. Special surface covers soaked in de-contaminants have been placed in every jet bridge in Terminal F. All the premises of the airport undergo regular cleaning with special decontaminants and disinfectants, and the frequency of clean-ups with water and disinfectants has been increased.

SIA JSC plans to continue to implement all measures that might be necessary to prevent COVID-19 from being brought into Russia and from being spread in the country. The measures aimed at checking passengers and staff and at improved disinfection of the airport premises will continue until special orders are received from the government of Russia and the emergency response headquarters for the prevention of COVID-19 in the territory of Russia.

*As of Mar 19, 2020, such countries include China, Iran, Korea, the EU, Sweden, the UK, Switzerland, the UAE and the US.

An information sheet for people arriving in Moscow from countries with increased numbers of COVID-19 cases and hotline phone numbers can be found on the website of Sheremetyevo airport in the News for Passengers section.

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