Spanish airline, Iberia, has made arrangements to implement a special Covid-19 health plan, designed in collaboration with the Quirónsalud health care firm and employee representatives. The aim is to give all the airline’s employees the most robust possible protection against the virus.
The plan calls for blood tests to detect Covid-19 antibodies in employees returning to on-site work following furloughs, as well as disinfection of all workplaces, the use of PPE and other hygiene measures, and teleworking wherever possible, among other measures.
In May alone, antibody tests were performed on some 2,500 Iberia employees working in the airport and in aircraft maintenance, as well as cockpit and cabin crews. Over the course of the year, the airline intends to test its entire staff of nearly 17,000 people.
Testing, which is voluntary for employees, will be performed when they return to work after furloughs, and again 15 and 30 days later. The tests will be carried out in Iberia health stations and on Quirónsalud premises.
The PCR test, which detects current Covid-19 infections, will be performed on employees returning to work after sick leave with the virus. It will also be available for employees who have worked closely with others who have tested positive.
The company is also considering the installation of thermal cameras to screen employees for fever, among other measures.
Earlier measures Iberia has taken since the outbreak of the pandemic include new and more aggressive protocols for cleaning and sanitising aircraft, equipment, toilets, and all areas where people gather. The airline is also encouraging hand-washing, social distancing, the use of PPE, and all other prevention measures recommended by health authorities, as well as issuing PPE to employees.
Further measures include the wider use of tele-working, tele-training, videoconferences, staggered entrance and leaving times when possible, and redistribution of space, signage, and physical barriers.