Facial protection refers to non-medical face masks and to surgical face masks. The mask has to be large enough to cover the wearer’s entire nose and mouth.
Passengers who do not wear adequate facial protection/mouth masks may be refused boarding at the gate.
For airlines, flying during the corona crisis means operating under exceptional circumstances. The current situation calls for a series of measures KLM is taking in order to safely and healthily carry out its operation for passengers and crew. The obligation to wear facial protection is part of this. Other measures include aircraft being cleaned more frequently and thoroughly and keeping contact moments between crew and passengers during the flight to a minimum. In addition, passengers from high-risk areas will have to fill in a health declaration to assess whether they are fit to fly.
Children up to 10 years of age do not have to wear a mouth cap on board. To continue to guarantee the safety of our customers and crew, KLM requires customers who cannot wear a mouth mask for medical reasons, a negative PCR test and a doctor’s certificate in English or Dutch. This measure will take effect as of 21 September 2020. The negative test may not be older than 72 hours before the start of the outward or return journey. The doctor’s certificate may be in English and the form is available for customers at klm.com. Without a medical certificate and a negative PCR test, customers will not be allowed on board.
The risk of contamination onboard aircraft is low. Modern aircraft are equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which provide clean, high-quality cabin air with a high degree of air circulation. The air is replaced every three minutes by the aircraft’s built-in air supply system. The airflow in the aircraft goes from top to bottom, which further reduces the chance of ‘horizontal’ transmission in the cabin. Moreover, the air flows quickly, which is not conducive to the dispersion of droplets. Furthermore, the passengers all sit with their faces in the same direction, so there is little face-to-face interaction, and the seats form a barrier to the transmission forward or backward in the cabin.
Source: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines