Two of the UK’s biggest airlines, EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic, have taken the decision to ban alcohol on all flights in order to reduce contact between passengers and flight crew.
EasyJet started flying again yesterday for the first time since grounding their entire fleet in March. However, in-flight drinks are limited to a glass of water which passengers have to request from cabin crew. As previously announced, there will also be no food served on board.
Virgin Atlantic will not serve alcohol when long-haul flights resume on 20 July, but pre-prepared meal boxes will be available to passengers. With the no alcohol rule, Virgin will no longer serve complimentary champagne to those in premium cabins.
Meanwhile, British Airways have suspended alcohol from short-haul services, but it will be offered on long-haul flights and to passengers in business class. The carrier has also revealed that they will serve meals in boxes from Tuesday 16 June.
All three airlines say the measures are temporary and will be kept under constant review.
The Department for Transport issued guidance to airlines earlier this week on how to make flights ‘Covid-secure’. It advises passengers to remain seated as much as possible during flights and to wear face masks while travelling. Airlines must also clean aircraft thoroughly and ensure supply of handwashing and hand sanitiser.
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There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic will affect the way we all travel for the foreseeable future. However, with travel restrictions lifting and lockdowns easing there may yet still be time to go on holiday in 2020.