Gatwick Airport to reopen North Terminal next week as flights resume

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GATWICK Airport is reopening the North Terminal next week with the first flight to Glasgow on Monday.

The airport was forced to close earlier this year due to coronavirus.

However, Gatwick will resume limited flights from June 15 as well as double the opening hours of the terminal.

The current restricted hours of 2pm-10pm will revert back to 6am-10pm.

Along with easyJet who are operating the first flight, Blue Islands, Ryanair, Vueling and Wizz Air will also resume flights.

New measures are being introduced too – families will be asked to cover their faces all the way through the airport before boarding.

Vending machines will sell packs of four for £3 to people arriving without a mask, with the airport not making any profit and 80p going to a local charity.

Hand sanitisers have been placed all round the airport, along with social distancing reminders.

Security trays will be coated with an anti-viral film and will be washed every hour and the airport is testing a UV system to burn any virus off the trays on the conveyor belt before they are used again.

Shops will gradually reopen inside the terminal and Duty Free will return once passenger numbers start to go back up.

The second largest airport in Britain would have expected more than 4000 passengers an hour to pass through during the summer peak – and the airport said it could be four years before numbers are back to normal.

The airport and airlines are hoping the new virus safety measures will not add long delays to journey times.

Chief Operating Officer Chris Woodroofe said the airport will follow and adapt to government guidelines as they develop.

He said: “We don’t think it will take a significant amount of more time.

“The measures we have put in place go no further than the government guidelines.

“We are trying to send a message that aviation is safe and we want to welcome people back to the airport.

“We are going to adapt to the circumstances as they occur.

Mr Woodroofe added that he “hoped to welcome” British Airways back soon after they pulled their flights from Gatwick during the lockdown.

London City Airport is also resuming flights this month, starting with domestic routes.

International flights hope to resume from July as airlines restart their flight schedules.

However, anyone currently entering the country will be forced to quarantine for two weeks under new rules enforced by the government, or face a £1,000 fine.

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