Spain’s trade union accuses airlines of failing to enforce ‘social distancing’ at Malaga airport, exposing staff to coronavirus risk

Spanish tourism leaders furious over "unacceptable scenes" at major airports.

Spain’s leading trade union, CCOO, has issued complaints against four airlines for failing to enforce ‘social distancing’ at Malaga airport to avoid coronavirus contagion, as passengers scramble to fly home. 

“Although there are fewer passengers at the airport, not enough is being done to enforce ‘social distancing’ rules between passengers and airport staff to avoid contagion,” stated Carolina Ortiz, Secretary of Malaga’s syndicate of CCOO.

Malaga’s airport staff claim that both passengers and airline staff are failing to respect the social distancing rules, imposed by the State of Alarm, which is exposing them to the risk of the virus. Ortiz has criticised the airlines for not ensuring that their staff respect social distancing rules, and also adds that Spain’s airport operator, Aena, needs to do more to ensure that the ‘distancing’ rules are enforced. “Both check-in and embarkation queues are two of the huge areas of concern,” she adds.

Ortiz also confirmed that airport staff are not given any protection, such as masks and gloves. Although there are fewer passenger numbers, “they are still exposed to the risk of contracting the virus,” she stated. She has also asked the airport operator to supply more gel disinfectant sanitiser for airport staff and passengers, as well as embarkation areas to be sanitised more frequently.

Most passengers at the airport now are those who are being repatriated back to Spain, or those returning to their home countries, after all hotels were asked to officially close on Thursday.

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Pepi Sappal

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