Passengers told to wear face coverings and gloves at some of UK's busiest airports

Passengers travelling through Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports are being told to wear face coverings and gloves from Thursday, owner Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has announced.

All staff serving passengers at the airports will also be wearing gloves and face masks, as the group aims to protect colleagues and customers from coronavirus.

Limited temperature screening will be trialled at the airports in coming weeks to test equipment, but passengers will not receive their results, nor will the checks determine whether someone can travel.

The move by MAG on face coverings and gloves is designed to make the small number of passengers currently making essential journeys "feel safer and more confident about flying".

The group added how it will also provide "a further level of protection to colleagues working at the airport".

Passengers are being encouraged to bring their own gloves and face coverings or face masks to the airports.

However, in the early stages of the pilot those arriving without will be provided with gloves and masks by airport staff.

Staff will also be on hand to guide passengers and help them navigate through the usual security processes while wearing protective equipment.

The airport group says the pilot will "represent a first step" in how air travel can be made safer, when more people start flying again.

It said social distancing is currently being practiced at its airports, due to reduced demand, and said the new guidance would not change that.

MAG also said it is considering whether to ask all passengers to make a health declaration in order to enter its airports and will give passengers sufficient notice of any such trials.

Charlie Cornish, Group CEO, MAG, said: “It’s clear that social distancing will not work on any form of public transport. But we’re confident that when the time is right, people will be able to travel safely."

He said airports need to "work urgently with government" to agree how to safely operate in the future.

He added: "We’ve taken expert medical advice on how people can travel safely, and we’re pleased to be piloting these new measures at our airports for those passengers who do still need to travel.

"We expect to be able to agree a new framework by the end of May that will support a restart of the industry as soon as possible."