Airline staff told to wear nappies and avoid toilets to reduce Covid risk

23rd of December 2020
Airline staff told to wear nappies and avoid toilets to reduce Covid risk

Cabin crew on certain charter flights from China have been asked to avoid using the on-board toilets to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.

And it has been suggested that they wear disposable nappies in order to avoid the need arising.

A 49-page document published by the Civil Aviation Administration of China provides detailed guidance on containing the pandemic. The advice states: "It is recommended that the cabin crew wear disposable diapers", adding that staff should "avoid the use of the toilet, reducing the risk of infection".

The recommendation applies to staff on charter flights to all destinations where the rate of infection is higher than 500 people per million. Crew members are also advised to wear disposable medical masks, gloves, googles and shoe coverings.

Fears that aircraft washrooms could present a Covid risk first emerged in March when a woman appeared to contract the illness while on an evacuation flight from Milan to South Korea. The passenger wore an N95 mask throughout the flight - except when she used the toilet.

And there are fears that publicly-used washrooms could represent a more general Covid risk. Scientists advising the UK government in August warned the virus could linger on cold washroom surfaces where they could quickly spread in crowded facilities.

And experts fear that the coronavirus can travel through plumbing. According to a report in September, three families living in a high-rise building in China tested positive for the virus despite never coming into contact with each other and living 12 floors apart.


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