'This is going too far': Bizarre detail in China air travel document

Olivia Lambert
·News Editor
·3-min read

Chinese flight attendants have been advised to follow a downright bizarre recommendation to help protect them from the coronavirus.

In a document released last month, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) recommended flight attendants wear nappies while at work to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“It is recommended that the cabin crew wear disposable diapers and avoid using the lavatories barring special circumstances to avoid infection risk,” the translated document seen by Yahoo News Australia says.

“Avoid the use of the toilet, reducing the risk of infection.”

Fight attendant waiting for service passengers on board in interior aircraft.
Flight attendants are being advised to wear disposable nappies on flights. Source: Getty

The document goes on to state there should also be dedicated toilets for crew members.

“According to the above requirements, ‘one person, one disinfection’ should be achieved before and after the crew uses the toilet,” it says.

The CAAC said in the document it would “impose” various control measures to strengthen “personal defence”.

Flight attendants who are working on flights to and from countries of high risk are also advised to wear medical masks, double-layer disposable medical gloves, goggles, disposable hats, disposable protective clothing and disposable shoe covers.

The recommendation comes after a woman reportedly caught coronavirus during a flight from Italy to South Korea in August.

CNN reports the bathroom was a possible source of her infection, being the only place where she did not wear her face mask.

People online shocked by request

Some people took to Twitter to express their shock over the CAAC’s recommendation, with a professor suggesting at this rate it will be difficult to come up with April Fool’s Day jokes.

“Why wait for April Fool’s Day when all around us are fools aplenty,” one commented.

“If folks have to do all this ... it’s probably not a good idea to fly during a pandemic,” another wrote on Twitter.

“You can’t make this s*** up,” a third added.

Another simply just said: “This is going too far.”

Travel increases Covid risk

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of Covid is heightened during travel when people are exposed to others they don’t know and use shared facilities like bathrooms.

“Your chances of getting Covid-19 while travelling depends not only on the length of the trip and the number of stops, but also on whether you and those around you take precautions, such as wearing masks and staying at least [1.8 metres] away from other people,” the CDC says on its website.

“Airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are all places travellers can be exposed to the virus through respiratory droplets or on surfaces.”

A small space showing an airplane toilet.
The nappies are supposed to prevent frequent use of airplane toilets. Source: Getty

The CDC adds the longer you are around a person with Covid-19, the more chances there are you’ll be infected.

In terms of air travel, the CDC says people can frequently be in close contact with others due to security lines and airport terminals.

“Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. However, keeping your distance is difficult on crowded flights, and sitting within [1.8 metres] of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting Covid.”

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