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Statement Schiphol regarding coronavirus developments


WEBWIRE

The corona virus has created a unique situation at Schiphol and in the Netherlands at large. The virus is hitting everyone hard. Schiphol’s passenger numbers went down by 20% in the first week of March. That number increases to 30% if all flights to and from the United States cease. We are developing various scenarios so we can prepare for a number of different situations at the airport.

Our responsibility is to the Netherlands to keep Schiphol running and for it to remain connected to the rest of the world. Schiphol is a vital part of our country’s infrastructure. We are keeping a close eye on developments and respond very quickly as and when they happen. Schiphol, the government, airlines and partners are working together on additional scenarios going forward, such as operating Schiphol at a smaller scale. We are doing this in a responsible manner with careful attention given to travellers and employees”, said Dick Benschop, CEO.

The United States will introduce a 30 day entry ban during the night of Friday, March 13 to Saturday March 14 on 04.59 am for anyone who has been in a Schengen (page in Dutch only) country in the past 14 days, except for American citizens. This will have an impact on Schiphol. There are weekly more than 200 flight from Schiphol to the United States. We are now mapping out, together with the airlines, what this means exactly for flights to the U.S. We kindly advice travellers to contact their airline if they are due to travel.

”[i]Our first priority today is informing travellers – that is step one. We are also currently making an inventory of the further consequences, which naturally will affect the Netherlands’ network. We expect this to be discussed with the government[/i" said CEO Dick Benschop in a reaction to the news.

4th March

A traveller has tested positive for the corona virus after their arrival at Schiphol Airport. This person is currently being assessed and supervised by the Gezondheidsdienst (Municipal Health Services, or GGD) following nationally-established protocols. The GGD is now mapping who this person has been in contact with. Schiphol is following GGD’s advice about the corona virus. At this time, based on GGD’s advice, there is no need for other measures to be taken.Here are the measures that are currently still in effect:

  • A message from RIVM/GGD will appear on the screens near baggage claim which will be seen by travellers that arrive from areas where the corona virus is present. That message will contain general information as well as what to do if the traveller has symptoms.
  • We advise all travellers and staff to prioritise general hygiene, just as you would with any other flu virus. That includes washing hands, sneezing or coughing on the inside of your elbow, and/or using paper tissues.
  • We have informed our partners, such as handling agents, retailers and airlines, about the measures and ask them to share them with their employees. We also work closely with our partners in the sector, such as airlines, Air Traffic Control the Netherlands and Royal Netherlands Marechaussee.
  • We are well prepared and have developed various scenarios.

28th February
The health and safety of staff and passengers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is very important to us. On the evening of Thursday 27 February, the first cases of coronavirus in the Netherlands was announced. In conjunction with authorities such as the Municipal Health Service (GGD) and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), we are keeping a close eye on developments. We consult with these parties daily about the situation and the measures taken. We are following their advice and sharing it with colleagues and other parties at the airport, including airlines, ground handlers and retailers. No other measures are currently being taken in addition to the previous measures. Schiphol is prepared and has developed various scenarios and contingency plans. These detail such things as the actions to be taken if an infected person arrives in the Netherlands at Schiphol. The scenarios dovetail with all preparations being made within the Netherlands.

As recommended by the GGD, we are also recommending that staff and passengers abide by the general hygiene measures, which would apply in the case of other flu viruses as well. We have posted a message on this topic from the RIVM/GGD on the screens near the baggage belts for passengers arriving from areas with significant numbers of coronavirus cases. Since the beginning of February, we have been organising walk-in sessions for employees in which they can ask a GGD staff member questions about the virus and their work situation. In addition, in collaboration with the GGD, we have also organised a meeting for airlines to inform them about the state of affairs at Schiphol.

Passengers who have questions about their flight as a result of the coronavirus are advised to contact their airline. Furthermore we answer in this blog post the most frequently asked questions about Schiphol and coronavirus.

30th January
Schiphol attaches great value to the health of employees and passengers at Schiphol. This is why we are closely monitoring developments with regard to the corona virus and keeping in regular contact with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the Public Health Service (GGD). We are following their advice and also sharing this with colleagues and other parties at the airport, including airlines, handlers and retailers. It is advised to observe general hygiene measures: wash your hands regularly, cough and sneeze in the inside of your elbow and use paper handkerchiefs.

Dutch authorities asked us to inform arriving passengers from China via the information screens in the reclaim baggage halls, to increase alertness and inform them what to do if they get complaints.​


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