The operator of Dublin and Cork airports has implemented a series of public health measures to protect and enhance the health and safety of passengers and staff as a result of Covid-19.

These include the installation of 960 hand sanitisers, 720 protective plexiglass screens and 10,500 pieces of Covid-19 related signage.

Passenger numbers at both airports declined by 99% during the peak of the crisis and the Government is currently advising against all non-essential overseas travel.

But Daa said it is preparing for a time when that will change and operations at Dublin and Cork airports will begin to ramp up again.

Daa said it is strongly recommending that all passengers at Dublin and Cork airports wear face masks or face coverings at all times when inside airport buildings or in carpark shuttle buses. 

In line with Government guidelines, children under the age of 13 will not be asked to wear face masks and passengers who have a valid medical reason for not wearing a face mask will also be exempt. 

The company said that passengers should bring their own face mask from home, but masks will also be available for purchase at the airport. 

Ten dedicated face mask vending machines are being installed at both Dublin and Cork airports, while masks will also be available in a large number of existing vending machines.

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Daa is urging its airport employees to wear face masks in all situations in which social distancing is not possible or difficult.

The airport operator also said that only passengers should enter the terminal buildings.

If people are meeting an arriving passenger or seeing off someone who is travelling please they should not come into the terminal - in line with current  European Aviation Safety Agency guidelines.

Meanwhile, socially distanced and simplified queue management systems have been put in place in all areas of the two airports, with floor graphics and signage to remind passengers of the importance of physical distancing. 

Socially distanced seating is also being put in place through both airports in areas such as boarding gates and food and beverage outlets.

The Daa said this will mean that certain seats will be blocked off to ensure that social distancing can be maintained, while signs to indicate the maximum number of people allowed in bathrooms and lifts has also been installed. 

Cleaning processes have been enhanced at both Cork and Dublin airports, Daa said with new regular deep cleaning and disinfection regimes. 

The company also said that all key contact surfaces such as security trays, self-service kiosks, escalator handrails and trolleys will undergo enhanced regular cleaning. A total of 960 hand sanitising units are also being installed at both airports.

Modern electrostatic disinfection techniques are being used in many areas and Daa said it will have 60 separate pieces of electrostatic cleaning equipment. 

Electrostatic cleaning uses a special spray which is electrically charged, and this enables the sanitisers and disinfectants in the spray to wrap around and evenly coat all types of surfaces for a much more complete and longer lasting clean, it explained.

About 720 plexiglass screens are also being installed at close contact points throughout both airports. 

There will be new plexiglass screens in areas such as check-in, security screening, retail and food & beverage outlets, customer service desks, boarding gates, and US Customs and Border Protection.  

Intending passengers are recommended to pre-book car parking online in advance and contactless pay machines and entry columns are located in all car parks. 

Pre-booked customers can simply tap or insert their payment card on arrival at the car park and on exit.

The new guidelines will apply from Tuesday June 16.

"The safety of our passengers, our employees and all the other staff that work at Dublin and Cork airports is always Daa's main priority and we will never compromise on that," chief executive Dalton Philips said. 

"Our enhanced measures are based on a series of risk assessments that we have undertaken in recent weeks, coupled with the respective national and European guidelines," Mr Philips said. 

"Our airline partners have also introduced new health and safety measures and we will continue to work with them to protect passengers through their entire journey," he added.

Daa said its new measures reflect the country's Covid-19 guidelines and also best practice in the European aviation sector, as set out in the recent guidelines devised by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Paul O'Kane, communications director at Daa told Morning Ireland, said there are currently eight airlines operating from Dublin and Cork and this is set to increase to 33 in a few weeks. 

He said that the Daa would like to see business safely resume, but said that difficult decisions around travel restrictions are a matter for Government.

He said the Government's aviation task force will have its first meeting this morning to consider issues around international travel restrictions, but it is ultimately a decision for Government. 

Mr O'Kane said there is "a strong recommendation" to wear a facemask or covering in all airport buildings and while vending machines selling facemasks will be in place from next week, people are asked to bring them from home.  

Mr O'Kane said the Dublin and Cork airports operator would like to see business resume safely and is working with all stakeholders to ensure that happens. 

He said that there are 10,500 Covid-19 signs in place across the floors, elevators, toilets and other areas to advise of social distancing, while there are 960 hand sanitisers in place and hundreds of protective plexiglass screens in place between passengers and staff .

But temperature checks are not taking place unless the public health advice is to do so, he added.